What about Bob?

Millennium Water

Will taxpayers be on the hook for Bob Rennie’s Millennium Water marketing fees?

For all the chatter about secret memos, sustainable design and hedge fund financing, nobody’s talking much about Rennie. His absence from the Olympic Village discussion is odd. Rennie is the the project marketer. Every sale goes through his company.

Now that the city is funding the development, it’s unclear if Rennie’s estimated $50,000-per-unit payday will apply to future sales. From what I can tell, there’s no reason to believe it won’t. Despite the bailout, Millennium is expected to remain on the books as the developer in order to preserve existing pre-sales.

To date, Rennie has pre-sold 265 “lower-value” units. The big mystery is the remaining 472. One can only imagine the public furor if the condo king collects fees when the units sell at a loss.

29 Responses to “What about Bob?”

  1. anon Says:

    One word:


  2. doug r Says:

    What’s $25 million between friends?

  3. hmmmm... Says:

    As a Vancouver taxpayer, my first inclination is to toss him off that pier if he asks for a dime of profit. If the government owns the project, it must become a non-profit project, just to cover costs.

    If there’s any justice at all, Rennie’s take will at least, at least go down proportionately to the condo price. If the condo sells for 1/2 price, Rennie should get $25,000, not $50000.

    Sadly I think he’ll get paid his full commission, since that’s just how the world works.

  4. Yakpi Says:

    Actual picture? Hmmm. I don’t remember False Creek ever looking so blue…

  5. The Urban Dweller Says:

    I agree with hmmm…, he shouldn’t see a dime. However, a good compromise would be for Rennie to get a proportionate share.

    The city should try to find another reputable builder to step in, but that is unlikely in these tough economic times.

  6. The Urban Dweller Says:

    On a side note I just watched the Entourage episode titled “What about Bob”, coincidence no.

  7. RossK Says:

    Public furor?

    You mean Mr. Rennie won’t be donating his commission back to that much ballyhooed saviour of all Lotsulands Specuvestors and regular citizens alike, the PEF?

    After all, despite that $2.7 Billion we’ve been hearing so much about lately, word has it there is no actual, you know, cash money in the thing given the fact that it was all used up building a bunch of fancy amenities like that beautiful still kinda/sorta public deck that is the subject of Mr. Rennie’s very fine photo perched atop CH’s current post….


  8. Wayne Says:

    If Condo Bob wants to be thought of as anything other than a RE huckster he ought to come forward and give all of us the benefit of his expertise Who among us knows more about Vancouver RE than the Condo King?

    Where did we all go wrong Bob? How will you fix this for us? Is the art collection going to be ok? Can you get me a deal on a condo?

  9. jesse Says:

    Certainly a question for Frances Bula to ask the fearless councilors and city managers. I would have thought the units would sell themselves…

  10. macchiato Says:

    I am interested in how the inner workings go for a condo Marketer. One would think that he has at this point missed out a millions with the Jameson project and the Ritz-Carlton.

    Would he get paid for the pre-sales or the completions? If he gets nothing for pre-sales, then that’s a lot of money that he thought was on the books that evaporated very quickly.

  11. VancityAllie Says:

    On a complete tangent…

    As a photographer, I find it completely hilarious that this one advertisement proclaims so proudly that the photo is an “actual photo” taken on location at the condos. It speaks volumes about the cheezy stock photos that are probably taken in Hawaii or Italy to advertise Vancouver condos.

    It’s kinda sad that they’re so proud for “actually” showing what people would be buying.

  12. mk-kids Says:

    Perhaps Renniw would take his commission in MW condos priced of course at his initial list…

  13. kuroame Says:

    “Actual picture? Hmmm. I don’t remember False Creek ever looking so blue…” It could be an actual picture, often the water is almost black with all the sewage from the marina, throw in a bit of oil and gas and it could just be perfectly reflecting the sky.

  14. Proponent Says:

    You think they may have sold more units from the get go if they instead just reduced the price by $50k?
    I guess that would just be silly, then how would bob put food on the table….

  15. anon Says:

    That IS a pic of the lobby after the Tsunami, isn’t it?

  16. jesse Says:

    Is it just me or: do those two lounge chairs look like a plant? Isn’t this part of the seawall? And how in the heck am I supposed to use those mooring anchors for my yacht with that annoying fence in the way?

  17. bearette Says:

    Let the Games begin!

    It’s the newest trend in B.C. real estate: developers suing pre-sale condominium buyers who are walking away from their deposits.

    Vancouver real estate developer Amacon has filed lawsuits against seven buyers in the last month for pulling out of Surrey’s Morgan Heights development, CBC News has learned.

    And those pre-sale contract holders could be on the hook for much more than their deposits if they lose the lawsuits.

    More at:

  18. Carioca Canuck Says:

    People buying property that is not yet constructed should do so in the name of a shell company. Plain and simple……..spend $500 to set one up and you are off the hook if you walk.

  19. dingus Says:

    Good luck getting financing. The bank doesn’t want to pursue a shell company either.

  20. buff_butler Says:

    What ever happened to bob? He’s gotten pretty quiet all of a sudden? Is he to busy analyzing “fundamentals”?

  21. holdem Says:

    Dingus – financing would only be necessary if the person wanted to actually close on the place. If values had kept going up and times were good with lots of lending going on, Im sure a person could have just put a personal guarantee on the mortgage and closed through the shell company.

    These days, people are just looking to limit their losses to the original deposits. Having the presale contract in limited company MIGHT help that happen.

  22. TaxHaven Says:

    Oh, to return to the days of wine-sipping-sunsets, executives get into their air-conditioned cars, from the elevator, into the climate-controlled office, neversweating…returning at 5:15 to slit-dress-high-heeled wife sprinkling rose petals on the deck of luxury condominium ‘suite’…tip of the hat from the concierge…all from shuffling and marketing all that meaningless and banal paper around in those office towers…

    Me? I have to do the laundry now. Frugality is in. Rennie is sooooooo 1990s….

  23. dingus Says:

    Right. Sorry, this isn’t my game. I’m so old school I expect people to pay for the things they agree to purchase. Or at least not risk the deposit if for some reason they end up closing.

    Anyway, probably a sophisticated developer wouldn’t go for this for they very reason you are suggesting it.

  24. Carioca Canuck Says:

    Then if everyone did it, these “sophisticated” developers you speak of would be out of business.

    A deposit is given to assure completion and mitigate damages…….they’ll take the deal 24/7, just so they can go to the bank and get paid out on the construction loan.

  25. dingus Says:

    I dunno. As I say, not my game.

    Anyone “actually” know if “sophisticated” developers care if you use a shell company or not? Or if you do, do they ask for personal guarantees?

    My thought was that they’d want to avoid dry judgements on the off chance they have to pursue presale buyers for deficiencies. Maybe they don’t think that far ahead, or think the prospect is so remote as to not think about. But it is in the contract, so I’d be suprised (but not overly) if their practices allowed that clause to be so easily circumvented. But who listens to their lawyer, anyway?

  26. Carioca Canuck Says:

    Yes I do actually, and flippers as well……..and they will go along with it……..after all…….does the developer personally guarantee your project completion costs for you, or give you personally guaranteed damages in the event of specific contractual non-performance ?

    Problem is, a lot of flipers are outright tax cheats…….so they do these deals personally, and hope the CRA doesn’t audit them.

  27. dingus Says:

    Q: “does anyone know if you can buy presales through a shell company?”

    A: “Yes I do actually, and flippers as well……..and they will go along with it…….”



    Sorry to be thick.

  28. Carioca Canuck Says:

    I hope you get better soon, because here is your question which I aswered.

    “Anyone “actually” know if “sophisticated” developers care if you use a shell company or not ? “

  29. dingus Says:

    Well, we’re clear on the question, anyway. That’s good.

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