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NPA wades into Olympic village mess, demands numbers … that are already there

October 12th, 2011 · 110 Comments

Civic politics junkies have been waiting to see whether the NPA would get into the ugly topic of the Olympic village, a tricky one for them as the party risks getting mud on its own face. As you’ll recall, the uproar over the village’s financial mess three years ago dominated the election campaign.

Today, Suzanne Anton decided to call for an accounting on the village’s finances, which I guess she and her party are hoping will get voters thinking about the more recent Vision Vancouver decisions on the village (keep the social housing, put the whole project into receivership, etc.) rather than the earlier NPA ones (commit to building a village with a private developer, accepting a bid based on the highest price rather than most experienced builder, lending money to the private developer when other financing started to fall apart).

But, oddly, apparently the city manager just issued a memo to all councillors, including Suzanne, that provides an update on many of the numbers Suzanne was asking for.

Here it is, for those wondering what’s happening. (Personally, I’d like to know how much of the mortgage is left and what we’re paying per month on it. We got those numbers a few months ago, but it would be nice to see them updated. Here is a link to the info that was presented in the spring.)

Suzanne’s news release is below.

From: Ballem, Penny
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:11 PM
To: Direct to Mayor and Council – DL
Cc: Honrado, Lara; Aujla, Bill; McLellan, David; Prosken, Brenda; Ballem, Penny; Welman, Mairi; Stewart, Wendy; Impey, Patrice; Flanigan, Michael; Coulson, Marg
Subject: Council Update on SEFC Project
Dear Mayor and Council – a number of you have asked for an update on the SEFC Project.  We have just received our updated metrics from the Receiver (Ernst & Young) and COHO (property manager for the Affordable Housing).  Here is a brief update on the project:
Market (For Sale) Condominiums in the Village on False Creek Development:
Total sales: 427 sold out of 737 market units ( ~60% sold)
Sales since February 2011 launch: 164 (164 units over 156 days – just over one per day) to mid September 2011
Next Sales Launch:  Parcel 6 Tower (building to the west of the Community Plaza) units are coming on stream now.
Total rented: 26 market units have been rented
Total market units occupied: 453 out of 737 units (62% occupied)
Market Rental Units in the Village on False Creek Development:
Total rented:  119 out of 119 rental units (100% rented)
Commercial Spaces in the Village on False Creek Development:
TD Bank and Legacy Liquor Store open

Terra Breads: successfully opened  Saturday, September 24, 2011 
Laundry/Drycleaning Store:  tenant improvements underway with anticipated opening by end of year




Urban Fare:  scheduled to open in June 2012 but they are attempting to open  in May 2012

London Drugs:  anticipated to open by end of May 2012
Village Sales Centre remains in use

Three (3) other commercial spaces are still available ; lease negotiations for two (2) of these spaces are anticipated by the Receiver to be finalized shortly

City Owned Commercial Spaces:
Creekside Community Centre – Village Kitchen Restaurant scheduled to open in the spring of 2012
Salt Building: City is in negotiations to finalize long term tenancy – in the meantime, the Salt Building is being used for short term tenancies
Affordable Housing:
The two City buildings (on Parcels 5 and 9) – both 100% occupied (total of 168 units)
Co-op (Parcel 2) – ~80% occupied (66 of 84 units)
Overall occupancy of the Village is 73%
Very steady progress on this important project.  Council thank you for your support on this file pb
Vancouver—NPA Candidate for Mayor Suzanne Anton is calling on City Hall to release information on sales, social housing and the overall financial position of the Olympic Village project. 

“The Olympic Village at Southeast False Creek has been an ongoing financial concern for Vancouver residents,” says Anton. “And Mayor Robertson promised during the last election to be open and transparent on this. They need to report on the village by November 1.”

A receiver was appointed to oversee the development in November 2010. Anton says the last financial reporting by the city was in April 2011. She believes a report would be of great interest to voters at this point.

Anton has submitted a motion requesting staff provide a complete reporting on the Olympic Village project by 1 November 2011 including: sales month to month, the overall financial position of the project, and the social housing occupancy, including numbers of market/ non-market tenants, and numbers of police, fire and teacher occupants as directed by council motion of April 2010.

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