Olympic Village condos slow to sell
The man marketing condominiums at the former Olympic Village in Vancouver's False Creek hopes to sweeten the deal for prospective buyers to spur stagnating sales.
Bob Rennie of Rennie Marketing contemplates absorbing some costs — such as the HST or a couple of years' maintenance fees — to lower the prices at Millennium, which the former Olympic Village is now called.
"We are going to announce those incentives mid-September," Rennie told CBC News on Wednesday.
Rennie has a reputation as a highly successful condo salesman in Vancouver.
He has his work cut out for him at the development, which had hoped to cash in on its role housing athletes during the Vancouver Olympics.
Millennium sales have been slower than expected. Hundreds of high-end condominium units are unoccupied and some commercial and retail space is unleased.
To date, 254 condo units have been sold, and 483 remain.
A sales drive that began in May has a goal of selling 40 condominiums by the end of September, but only 26 have been sold so far.
Some buyers balk
Last week Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson added his voice to the gloomy market, saying he's concerned about another real estate slump.
But Rennie remains upbeat.
"I think we'll be on track to do this within a two-year period," he said.
While luring new buyers, Rennie has to worry about keeping the ones who have already bought.
Buyers of at least 13 units want to take Millennium to B.C. Supreme Court to win the right to back out of their contracts.
"At the present time, they are insisting on the return of their deposits," said Brian Baynham, the lawyer for a group of unhappy buyers. "They believe that Millennium [is] in breach of their agreements."
The purchasers' complaints range from alleged shoddy appliances to blocked views from their units.
Baynham said he expects to file a lawsuit within weeks.
With files from the CBC's Ben Hadaway and Kirk Williams