Captcha Code Verification:
Q. There have been numerous rezoning applications recently for Cambie Street near 33rd Avenue, listed here: http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/ Given that 33rd Avenue was a proposed future station on the Canada Line, will development there allow that station to be built soon? Is the city doing anything to collect amenity money from developers as part of the [...]
Q. How many shelter facilities are there in Toronto? Name them. Name them? NAME THEM? What is this, some kind of Reach for the Top game, Municipal Issues version? Mind you, I was on Reach for the Top (the antecedent to Jeopardy, for those who didn’t know) when it was just a high-school competition, back when [...]
Q. What happens to my beloved Buy-Low if/when Beedie Developments goes ahead with their plan to redevelop Kingsgate Mall, per the recent article in the G&M http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/kingsgate-mall-tagged-for-redevelopment/article5152540/ A. Well, Chris (I know it’s you because you are the first person to have signed your name to a City Plumber question in almost a year now. [...]
Q. What’s the story behind the vacant lot on Robson at Broughton? A. A lot of people seem to want to know this. In Vancouver, no vacant lot goes unnoticed. When I googled “empty lot Robson and Broughton,” it brought up about half a dozen references to it on various blogs around town. I guess [...]
Q. Can you tell me if you have any further information on the Gold Medal Club in the Olympic Village? The city rental buildings (2) and the Coop (1) are not allowed access to that fitness centre. With strata fees going up 30% in some buildings, you’d think the city of Vancouver would be eager [...]
Well, this had to happen at some point and now it has. Here’s the story, which the CBC got first.
// Jun 25, 2010 at 2:20 am
I feel no sympathy for people who buy real estate before it has been completed. There is always a chance that it will not be exactly like the renderings.
I also wonder if these people are looking to make a fast buck by wanting to give back their units but now they want the current market value of the unit and not the value they bought it for.
// Jun 25, 2010 at 7:53 am
I knew somebody who worked on the interiors of these units and she told me they were superficially luxurious, but really quite shoddy underneath.
// Jun 25, 2010 at 10:30 am
Only if they give back all the money they made flipping condo’s prior to O.V.. Can you imagine if prices went up and developer said they wanted more money?!?
Sorry roulette ball landed on red this time – move along please.
// Jun 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm
There are a few things that trouble me about the CBC story. Firstly, it is getting far too much coverage, given the facts. Secondly, some of the facts are wrong.
Before addressing these points, it is important to note that most of the people who bought the units back in 2007 did close.
11 or 12 have hired a lawyer, who is considered by some to be a bit of an ‘ambulance chaser’ when it comes to working for buyers trying to get out of pre-sale agreements. While I can appreciate that some of these buyers may not have spent a lot of time analyzing their purchases, I suspect most if not all want to get out of their agreements since the units have not gone up as much in value as they hoped. Too bad.
As others have pointed out above, if the units had gone up in value, they would happily wait for their washers and dryers and fireplace deficiencies to be remedied.
The lawyer’s claim that the city should be shown as ‘the developer’ in the disclosure statement, since it owned the land, and lent the money, is nonsense. While I am not a lawyer, based on my experience with CMHC and SFU, this really is grasping at straws.
On a related matter, the CBC is wrong when it states that the City contracted with Rennie for two years to sell the units. This is not the case. The developer, Millennium has hired Rennie.
There is no doubt that given the significant amount of money the city has lent to Millennium, it is closely monitoring the sales program closely. And so it should. Any private lender would do the same thing.
One of the many benefits of the internet is that it makes it quite easy to go back in time. I easily found this story from the Vancouver Courier
http://www.canada.com/vancouvercourier/news/story.html?id=574e3848-675a-4101-8107-11254fba2428 which describes the mood just under three years ago, when some if not all of the buyers who are now complaining first bought their units.
I am sure there are many stories still to be told about the Olympic Village saga. However, this story is being blown out of proportion and I for one do not think it deserves the attention it is getting.
// Jun 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm
It’s also good to compare the sales three years ago, when 80 per cent of the units sold in two days, to the sales now, when only 36 of 473 have been sold in two months. That’s eight per cent for anyone interested, and at that rate will take another two years to sell them all. Hmmm, doesn’t really look too successful so far, Mr. Rennie.
// Jun 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm
The Thought of The Day
” The Union Bosses have always loved the Piers and the Waterfronts. ‘Underground Negotiating’ is the…Word. The Asian Buyer has a few more hands to bribe at home and in Canada in order to finally be able to move some suitcases of cash. The BC Bud ‘Farmer’ is suspicious. What if there’s a catch? Plus, he’s already under surveillance…his future neighbours, eh? He’ll wait a little more. OV will sell, eventually.”
I don’t think the story it’s about Rennie. It’s about the ‘elected’ group of incompetent fools at City Hall and their newly hired ‘friends’ that indebted the City of Vancouver to the sum of $ 1 Billion.
If it wasn’t for this, I couldn’t have cared less if the OV would sell or not.
If you are a visual person, take a moment and try to picture the following average, future, inhabitant of the Olympic Village:
Two uniformed teens and bodyguards, facing each other, inside their chauffeured limousine, circling the village and showing off their purse sized Chihuahua. Texting away on their Blackberries. Of course, to each other.
We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.
Lewis N. Villegas
// Jun 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm
I don’t know why these things always seem to get off the rails, Michael.
I am reminded of the LeCorbusier’s houses at Pessac as I read your post. Or, Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 1967 for Montreal. I suppose we could add the CMHC’s McLean Park, Vancouver; Jeanne Mance housing project, Montreal; and the stuff that’s going up soon in a neighbourhood near us in Vancouver.
Why is it that when these city-making projects fall into the purview of a politicized decision-making process, the water in the well—so to speak—gets poisoned?
And, why is it that we can never learn the lesson?
// Jun 26, 2010 at 12:08 am
@Glissando, I think it goes a lot further back than this council, but rather to the council before, who chose Millenium to build a smaller number of ridiculously overpriced condos rather than more experienced developers who could have built a more reasonable neighbourhood with less frill and less exorbident cost. And maybe then we’d still have had the social housing in there, too.
It was even before that when city council signed their rights away, providing legal assurances that the olympic village would be complete on time.
I wasn’t blaming Rennie, rather I was pointing out how absurd his cheery assessment of the sales so far is.
But that said, I don’t think it does anybody any good, whether it’s a private developer or the city on the hook, to have 400 empty homes just sitting there.
Also, I love Habitat 67. Don’t know why that building is “poisoned.”
// Jun 26, 2010 at 1:12 am
In regards to the poor sales rate of what has been put on the market. It isn’t something that I’m too worried about. We will eventually sell them all. It may not be in the next few months though. It was just an unfortunate time to be trying to sell them. If this had happened 4-5 years ago most of them probably would have been gone by now.
As for the original topic at hand. In my view there should never be a way of getting a refund on real estate. If you don’t like the place you bought then put it on the market and try and sell it. If this goes to court and they end up winning. It would set a very bad precedent. In a way does that mean that if I buy a house and don’t like it. Can I go to the previous owner and ask for a refund.
// Jun 26, 2010 at 6:33 am
Actually, I am surprised OV is on the slow-track. I thought our sino-keepers would come rushing to our aid with their bags full forever.
Still Vancouver is not, surprise, surprise, unique. World wide, finance, which should be the servant of commerce is not: quite the opposite.
Locally, we are shipping jobs overseas: like, raw log exports. But much more wide spread across the country. Did you fall for NAFTA? I didn’t!
We are dependent on selling real estate off-shore: which is bad for many reasons other than artificially inflated land pricing, to the extent we cannot afford to live in our own town.
The semiotics of our built environment, no less OV, is dull, repetitive, dependent on outside references that tells us we have no confidence in ourselves.
We are mesmerized by constant MSM reference to views: consequently we are outwardly focused when, especially at this time, we should be introspectively looking to ourselves for solutions.
Development-wise, the town is all over the place. Developers want this, the neighbours want that and far too much attention is paid to the goings on at THU HALL while street-wise initiatives lay dormant.
THU HALL is not the heart-beat of the city.
As for Rennie, his job is flogging real estate. He has to have a smile permanently duct-taped to his phizog!
Michael’s job is to be nice to everybody!
// Jun 26, 2010 at 7:28 am
PS” . . . if the day is so short why is the night so long . . . ”
// Jun 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm
Well, someone has guts. I wouldn’t call a lawyer an “ambulance chaser” in print. Not if my name was published.
Lewis N. Villegas
// Jun 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm
Tessa, the problem with Habitat ’67 is that what it projects turns out to be an unbuildable vision.
So, it perpetrates a kind of fraud.
Here’s the architecture side of it. The idea is of a standard unit—a module—built of industrial materials (concrete), that can be staked about in a free-form, domino style, to create any kind of imaginative landscape you care to think of.
It’s one box, but the possibilities are endless. So far, so good.
Now, here are the engineering realities of load bearing construction. Stacked, I don’t know for I haven’t counted, seven boxes high, each box has to be designed and constructed entirely differently from its neighbour.
Why? The modular system does not anticipate the structural loading (oops! are designers supposed to think of that?). As a consequence, the box on the bottom has to be made strong enough to carry the six boxes on top. The next one a little less so, to carry five, and so on until you get to the top, where the module still works.
The OV presents a similar situation. Outmuscling each another to see who is the prettiest of them all, the big question hanging over OV Architecture is whether it managed to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts.
There are worrying signs visible from the outside, but I will reserve comment until I complete a few site visits.
However, there is something that can be said now. It would appear that OV failed to provide a workable model for Vancouver urbanism that is not “tower-and-podium”. Here, Urbanismo has already provided a sharp assessment of the state of the art of construction in our town.
That’s a pity. My vision for OV matches what we hear from others above. I would have wanted a ‘good’ urbanism that could have been transplanted whole cloth, lessons learned, to the Cambie corridor and to the intensification of our Historic Quartiers.
// Jun 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm
ere ambulance chasers:
” …And a lawyer is justified in drumming up business where he or she can find it. You may not always like it, but it’s the system.”
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/like+your+Olympic+village+deal+Call+condo+litigator/3210230/story.html#ixzz0sBzBqlZi
// Jun 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm
I had a tour of the prize condo in the Olympic Village that is being offered by VGH/UBC Hospital Foundation. I couldn’t believe my eyes at what is valued at $1.3 million. The finish is really tacky, as is the layout. There is a chipped tiile in the bathroom that has been “repaired” with a smear of putty, everything just looks tacky. I don’t blame those people for demanding what they were sold. You can have a very nice detached house in this city for that price.
// Jun 30, 2010 at 10:55 pm
The remake of “Clockwork Orange” will be shot in Olympic Village.
Deep Dap Do
// Jul 7, 2010 at 1:28 am
The owners were concerned about the “low barrier” social housing aspect and that they would have to share the elevator with some of their neighbours who would be bringing home their work in shopping carts, and possibly some tiny critters in the cans in those shopping carts. They are also on the hook for repairs and upkeep to the low barrier units.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Frances Bula is proudly powered by WordPress Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).