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City expects $200 million from Olympic village condo deposits this year

April 20th, 2010 · 14 Comments

I never imagined, when I was spending my 20s studying the contemporary French novel, that I would enjoy reading financial statements as much as I do. But it turns out they’re just as fun as Boris Vian or Michel Butor, in their own way, like seeing where the millions go at the city.

The city’s financial statements were put out late last Friday afternoon (hmmmmm, what could this mean?) with lots of interesting bits in them. Did you know the city has provided a $12-million line of credit to the PNE? I didn’t but there it is in the statements. Or that the city collected almost $40 million more in taxes in 2009 than in 2008. That’s a hefty jump. That was almost entirely to pay for the increase in costs in policing ($15 million), general government ($17 million) and fire protection ($5 million), as every other sector of city government stayed mostly the same or decreased.

But of course the most fascinating section for us city-hall junkies is the Olympic village (pages 23/24), where we learn:

– the private developer Millennium Developments owes the city $710 million as of March 26, 2010 ($15 million more than on Dec. 31, 2009 — how that interest piles up quickly). That’s, of course, just for the construction loan. It also still owes $170 million for the land that it bought back in 2006.

– Millennium got a $1.5 million bonus for on-time delivery of the village to the Games

– the city is paying only .8 per cent interest on $480 million of the money it borrowed from banks to relend to Millennium, but is charging Millennium somewhere between four and eight per cent, depending on how long the loan goes on — that spread is a guarantee for the city that it will get its money even if not all the condos sell, according to the statements.

– and final fun fact: the city expects to see $200 million in deposits put down on the 500 condos that remain to be sold at the village. That would be as of May 15, when condo marketer Bob Rennie is going to launch a new sales phase with a “street of dreams” marketing campaign. As the mayor said so poignantly prior to the Games, “Go Bob go.”

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