The City of Vancouver announced Friday that it has seized numerous assets owned by the Olympic Village developer, Millennium Development, including 32 properties worth $50M and other assets valued at around $10M.
The City is owed $575M by Millennium for the Olympic Village construction loan. But City staff said Friday that after seizing Millennium assets, they now anticipate recouping a total of $725M. This means that the City plans to make $150M profit even after the construction loan is paid off.
The original 2005 Official Development Plan for the Olympic Village called for 2/3rds of the housing to be “affordable” (over 733 units out of 1100), half of which would be social housing (366 units). To that end, the City negotiated that Millennium would pay the City another $200M for using the City-owned land on Southeast False Creek. About $30M of those land-profits were already paid to the City, and in April 2010 the City invested approximately that amount ($32M) into the remaining non-market housing, although the number of these had been drastically reduced. But now that the City anticipates accumulating another $100M – $150M profits, there are no plans to invest them into meeting housing promises at the Olympic Village, or anywhere else in the City.
For now, the corporate media is parroting the nonsensical line that the City will “lose” $40M – $50M on the project (see CBC and TheSun), but it would be much more accurate to say this: whereas the City originally hoped for $200M in profits from the land lease, to be used for meeting Olympic Housing Legacy, now Gregor Robertson plans to make around $150M profit, but not re-invest it.