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Olympic Village May Not Get Finished


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The media is clearly blowing it way out of proportion:

Mayor Not Seeking 2010 Bailout

1/12/2009

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says he is not going begging to the provincial and federal governments looking for a bailout on the troubled Olympic Athletes Village project.

In a worst-case scenario, the City of Vancouver is on the hook for an 875 million dollar bill.

Robertson says the city needs tools from the provincial government to be able to re-finance this, but he says he is not anticipating government largesse from the province or the federal government to bail this out.

He says Vancouver taxpayers are responsible for shouldering the burden.

Robertson wants Legislature reconvened to help city find way to refinance Athlete's Village

Won't ask Victoria or Ottawa for 'bailout'

Connie Thiessen / Sonia Aslam VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) 2009-01-12 12:22

Robertson admits the city would consider renting out the condo's if they can't sell them all.

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is asking for the B.C. Legislature to be reconvened to approve changes to the Vancouver charter, which would allow the city to borrow money to refinance Olympic Village cost overruns. Robertson says he won't ask the federal or provincial governments for a bailout if the city ends up footing the bill for cost overruns on the Olympic Athlete's Village.

Robertson fears Vancouver taxpayers could be on the hook for the entire cost if the developer can't refinance a new deal. Robertson had said the province may have to give the city the ''tools'' to refinance the massive project, but he wouldn't expect any direct assistance from either the B.C. or federal governments. The bill could go as high as $875 million dollars.

Meanwhile, former Mayor Phillip Owen is accusing Robertson and the media of blowing the financing issue out of proportion. Owen insists the facts are being distorted.

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You reckon? My memory of the years 1993 to 2000 here was of constant negative media outrage, scandal, bad press etc over everything from the rotating doors of SOCOG chief execs, ticketing issues, scandsals (that seems to be one for every games), panics about construction schedules etc etc and so on and so on ad nauseum. Really, the feel good effect ofor the Sydney games in the media here only really started kicking in when the flame arrived at Uluru.

Well that's likely true because you lived in Australia and it was a local concern. Also, Sydney was organized back when the web was a place to find a bit of info and read about people's boring lives. Now it is the place to find info, spew off opinions, and make something local into something global. But much of what I remember hearing from Sydney was highly positive.

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But much of what I remember hearing from Sydney was highly positive.

I'll second that - my recollections of Sydney are all highly positive too, so while it is sad to hear you had all the constant bad press etc, it is good to confirm that we're not alone. Having said that, I do recall catching a few episodes of a show called The Games (I think), which pretended to follow the misadventures of some of the organizers in Sydney. I'd love to find a copy of that series somewhere.

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I'll second that - my recollections of Sydney are all highly positive too, so while it is sad to hear you had all the constant bad press etc, it is good to confirm that we're not alone. Having said that, I do recall catching a few episodes of a show called The Games (I think), which pretended to follow the misadventures of some of the organizers in Sydney. I'd love to find a copy of that series somewhere.

Check out some of the Aussie DVD online order sites. I'm sure it would still be available around somewhere.

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Possible solutions:

1) Import ASAP about ten thousand mainland Chinese construction workers. They work real cheap. Lowers ultimate construction cost outlay including financing costs.

2) Import ASAP about ten thousand mainland Chinese construction workers. They work steady, already have recent experience completing another Olympic Village, and could get this job finished lickety-split.

3) Import mainland Chinese upper-middle class and wealthy buyers to snap up the unsold units. Especially if you throw in Canadian permanent residence cards for each buyer and family.

Problems solved. :P:lol:

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The problem isn't finding workers. It is finding buyers.

That's going to be an even bigger problem for London and, if the economy is still a sh*thole by 2016, for Chicago or Rio. But there could be a creative solution to that. Make it a Rent-to-Own situation. ANd in a stagnant economy, that may be the only solution.

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Having said that, I do recall catching a few episodes of a show called The Games (I think), which pretended to follow the misadventures of some of the organizers in Sydney.

At the beginning of the IOC’s recently redone Sydney 2000 OC highlight video on their website, they comment on Sydney’s bad press.

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And you can blame the last Mayor and City Council for signing such a stupid agreement which would cost the City so much money.

Sam Sullivan (the wheelchair guy for those that remember) is the worst Mayor this City has ever had. Totally incompetent.

Now they won't have enough money to improve BC Place. I can see the Government shelving the BC Place plans and even tearing down the Stadium after 2010 to sell the land for development to recoup these losses

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What a joke. And just today, Standard and Poors has indicated that this financial mess will impact Vancouver's credit rating, resulting in higher borrowing costs in the form of interest, and higher taxes for the citizens of the city.

Seems like all those silly poor people and activists who protested the bid because this could happen were dead on. The Olympic circus once again leaves behind its legacy of debt and broken promises. And it's every citizen in Canada who will pay a portion for this mismanagement. But Vancouver's citizens will pay the most. I hope everyone buys a DVD of the ceremonies and highlights when the flame is extinguished in a bit more than a year from now, so you can rationalize that "it was all worth it."

Wouldn't it be nice if the IOC urged bidding cities to stop building monuments for a sports festival and awarded the bids to cities that made use of existing facilities with minor upgrades required.

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Mr. X / X2 / Nitronuts: why the hell do you say the media is blowing it out of proportion?

You're obviously not old enough to pay taxes yet but when you reach 16 and do start working and earning money you'll realize how much money a billion dollars is

FYI, you're the one that's 16. :lol: ....though you act and think more like a 10 year old. I'm in university thank you very much and I work quite a bit.

Secondly, the media is skewing the actual facts and leaving out others. As another forumer put it, they are explaining a very complex issue in a very simple and flawed manner.

Should Vancouver taxpayers be worried? Yes, they should be quite worried. But it's not the end of the world when you actually look at the real facts, as previously posted. There's a risk, but the risk is not for certain. The whole thing the media has been spouting out is the absolute worst case scenario. But of someone as simple minded as you are, you would never understand. ;)

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What a joke. And just today, Standard and Poors has indicated that this financial mess will impact Vancouver's credit rating, resulting in higher borrowing costs in the form of interest, and higher taxes for the citizens of the city.

Seems like all those silly poor people and activists who protested the bid because this could happen were dead on. The Olympic circus once again leaves behind its legacy of debt and broken promises. And it's every citizen in Canada who will pay a portion for this mismanagement. But Vancouver's citizens will pay the most. I hope everyone buys a DVD of the ceremonies and highlights when the flame is extinguished in a bit more than a year from now, so you can rationalize that "it was all worth it."

Wouldn't it be nice if the IOC urged bidding cities to stop building monuments for a sports festival and awarded the bids to cities that made use of existing facilities with minor upgrades required.

I wouldn't buy the media's news about this if I were you. Sensationalism and "the sky is falling" is great for headlines. It is just so much easier to scream the phrases "nearly $1 Billion dollars" and "on the hook" than to actually provide any analysis. So any reporting showing the total exposure without even attempting to determine sales figures that can be expected in the next 2 to 3 years are just reporting shoddy attention-grabbing headlines.

One thing everyone has failed to note that the condos won't have to be market ready until late-2010 when additional finishings are added to the market condos of the Olympic Village. There is plenty of time for the market to recover.

A few things they've failed to note: Millennium has put up all their properties, worth hundreds of millions, as collateral.

As for the IOC requiring cities to "build large monuments", Vancouver has been quite conservative in that. We haven't built anything significant and everything built has been built at a minimum and for only practical usage. Just look at the sports venues, they are the most modest venues in recent memory costing very little compared to previous Winter Games. The Olympic Village is a requirement....where else will the athletes stay? The current situation is not a result of incompetence by City officials but by those in Wall Street south of the border.

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You Stupid idiot, the City of Vancouver signed onto that f'up contract. Are you stupid or something? Both parties signed onto the agreement; otherwise it's not an agreement.

The City officials knew exactly what they were signing. And they're a bunch of idiots for signing such a thing that would screw the City financially for years to come.

For a person like you who's made 18,000 plus posts on here over the last decade and a few thousand more on Canucks.com you must not have anytime left over for your University homework.

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You Stupid idiot, the City of Vancouver signed onto that f'up contract. Are you stupid or something? Both parties signed onto the agreement; otherwise it's not an agreement.

Where did I mention in my previous posts that the city did not sign an agreement? :lol: You have comprehension problems.

The City officials knew exactly what they were signing. And they're a bunch of idiots for signing such a thing that would screw the City financially for years to come.

One needs to read the fine print in the actual documents; not the easy, sloppy, shoddy, sensationalized "the sky is falling" media reports.

For a person like you who's made 18,000 plus posts on here over the last decade and a few thousand more on Canucks.com you must not have anytime left over for your University homework.

I fair quite well, thank you very much. :) I should also note that most of those posts were made during my high school career in the summers of Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, February 2006, the London 2012 IOC vote in 2005, and especially in 2003 during the whole 2010 bidding process particularly during Decision Day and the Olympic referendum. But you wouldn't know that, would you, being the newb around here with absolutely zero credibility. ;)

You're the one that spends pointless hours around these forums, spewing misinformation, reaccessing forums you've been previously banned from. :)

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This is being overblown, largely. The units will sell, and recoup their construction costs. Other aspects of the Games? Perhaps not.

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Wouldn't it be nice if the IOC urged bidding cities to stop building monuments for a sports festival and awarded the bids to cities that made use of existing facilities with minor upgrades required.

To the defense of Vancouver, not that many "monuments" had to be built. Much of the problem with the Village is the current crisis in the financial world. Bad timing. Not management.

But I agree in principle. The Olympics stand to lose their relevance if all they ever become known for is massive debt and societal burdens to the host country.

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To the defense of Vancouver, not that many "monuments" had to be built. Much of the problem with the Village is the current crisis in the financial world. Bad timing. Not management.

But I agree in principle. The Olympics stand to lose their relevance if all they ever become known for is massive debt and societal burdens to the host country.

These huge circuses are unsustainable. Yet:

#1 - They (the IOC) like to commit gov'ts to subsidize their show;

#2 - Kinda cringe at the way the US has done it -- at least the last 3x -- with a private corporation;

#3 - I don't see WHY they can't guarantee their Games???

So it's like...do as we say but not as we do??? It's about time the cities dictated the terms to the IOC, and not the other way around.

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Please discuss how the Provincial Government recalling the Legislature for an Emergency Session and amending the Vancouver Charter makes this sorry situation any better...

So the City of Vancouver will be able to get a loan of money?

What are the financial dynamics involved if the Vancouver Charter is amended?

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The Government Speaker has reconvened the House for an extraordinary session for this Saturday at 12 Noon to amend the Vancouver Charter so the money can be borrowed.

The NDP will likely engage in "Filibuster" tactics which could make the whole exercise last for 3 days.

The question is: how will this impact Campbell's chances of getting reelected? The timing is terrible

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Everything will work out. I just think Vancouverites and VANOC counted future chickens before the eggs came home as far as the construction and buyers' markets go. The plans didn't anticipate a downturn, they were written up the beginning of this decade to follow along the ongoing trend of going up and up. Nobody made any glaring errors from what I can see. It's just what happens sometimes. It just goes to show that, maybe, some cities' markets are TOO developed and competitive for the organizing process.

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