Olympic Village losses quadruple with unpaid land costs

The amount of taxpayers' money the City of Vancouver expects to lose in the Olympic Village project continues to climb following revelations Millennium Developments only paid $29 million of the $200 million price tag for the prime waterfront property.
The City of Vancouver was only paid $29 million dollars for the land the former Olympic Village sits on before the $1 billion project went into receivership. (CBC)

The amount of taxpayers' money the City of Vancouver expects to lose in the Olympic Village project continues to climb following revelations Millennium Developments only paid $29 million of the $200 million price tag for the prime waterfront property.

At a media briefing on Friday, the city said it expected to limit losses on the Olympic village project to $40 to $50 million on the $1 billion luxury condominium project.

But that's just the loss on the construction loan financed by the city, councillors now admit, and the figure doesn't include more than $170 million the developer never paid the city for the land itself before the project went into receivership last November.

Councillor Geoff Meggs says its oversimplifying to add the two numbers together to get a total estimated loss of at least $210 million, but he says he's making no attempt to minimize the impact on taxpayers.

"I agree with the assessment of those who say that the mismanagement of the project has cost the city its worst financial setback in its history. There is no argument there," said Meggs.

Meggs blames the previous NPA administration for the loss, but NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton says the mayor's attitude contributed to slow sales.

"Instead of when he got elected talking positively about the project, he kept talking and pointing fingers and whining," said Anton.

Both councillors say it will be long time before the total losses are known because the city still has several hundred condos left to sell.