“We would expect while demand is certainly much lower today than it was a year ago, over time those units will sell and most of that money should be recouped.” –Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, B.C. Real Estate Association
“Regrettably, the marble and the German fridges and all that kind of stuff has already been ordered.” –Councillor David Cadman, COPE
As I write, CTV News is on the tube. Something tells me this is gonna be good. Here’s my transcript, written in real time:
Bill Good opens. Gregor Robertson is asking for authority to borrow $458-million for the Olympic Village. Gordon Campbell confirms he’s talking with the city. Stephen Harper wants none of it, drops an f-bomb with his eyes. Reporter Shannon Paterson is knocking on Peter Ladner’s door. Then Sam Sullivan’s door. Historical footage of Bob Rennie pitching Millennium Water. Tsur Somerville grins, has no hope for a return to the market peak in the near term. Ex-mayor Philip Owen is sure prices “will be back” in three years. An industry flak admits prices are down 15 per cent from the peak.
Is this not one of the most dizzying condo/ real estate/ boondoggle news days Vancouver has ever seen?!
The hard news of today — that is, the stuff we didn’t learn on Friday — is that City Hall is asking the province for the authority to borrow the money needed to complete the Olympic Village. By law, the city can’t borrow huge sums without permission of the electorate. Unless the province gives the city the power to assume the debt, the city is stuck with the ability to do nothing. Meanwhile, the city is bound to their completion guarantee with Fortress.
Some are saying City Hall should walk away. More than 60 per cent of respondents to a Vancouver Sun online poll support this thinking. Though it’s a lovely measure of voter outrage, it sidesteps the reality that the city must complete Millennium Water. This is the deal the city made when it signed the completion guarantee. It sucks but we’re stuck. Whatever we do, we owe the money. Better to the build the buildings than do nothing.
Time to hit the video feed of today’s special city council meeting. I’m prepared for torture. Wish me luck.
Photo credit: Tris Hussey