The City of Vancouver has seized control of 32 Millennium Properties assets in order to recover money owed on the failed Olympic Village project, officials announced on Friday morning.
The city has taken control of Millennium properties in Toronto, Burnaby, Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the move had to be made to salvage the city's investment.
"With the announcement [Friday] that approximately tens of millions of dollars in assets from Millenium have been transferred to the City, we’ve been able to reduce the impact on taxpayers and help the project move forward," Robertson said in a statement.
City officials say they intend to halt plans to rent out the units and sell them instead. Officials say they are still owed $758 million for the failed Olympic Village project built by Millennium, and once they sell off all the units, they still expect to lose $40 million to $50 million in the deal.
"The [total write-off] is far smaller than we worried about in 2009 — and we're absolutely justified to worry about it," said Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs. "We've had to move heaven and earth to fix the problem."
Meggs also said he doubts the Millennium project — now named the Village on False Creek — can ultimately break even, but said the city is pleased with increased sales under a new receiver.
He also said the city plans to fight a lawsuit from at least 66 unhappy current owners, who say the units are shoddily built or are not the size or design of what they had agreed to buy.