Millennium owners want to sell condos at lower price

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Malek brothers need permission from city to sell below base rate

Cheryl Rossi
Van. Courier

Millennium Development Corporation and Rennie Marketing Systems hope “momentum pricing” at the Olympic Village will help Millennium get back on track paying off its loan from the city.

That could include asking the city to allow Rennie to sell some condos lower than the city’s base rates, as set out in their confidential loan agreement.

“We’re saying let’s sell a certain number of units… and even if we have to go a little bit below their release prices, we will gradually increase the prices as more people move in,” said Shahram Malek, director of Millennium, Oct. 7. “That also makes it more appealing for people to buy now, as opposed to waiting in the future.”

Malek and his brother Peter Malek, president of Millennium Development Corporation, gave rare interviews Oct. 7.

Millennium, developer of the Olympic Village, was $8 million short in repaying the $200 million that was due to the city at the end of August and roughly $350,000 short as of Oct. 7.

Malek believes the company will be able repay the $75 million due Jan. 3. He says the key will be the city approving the company’s pricing and incentive program as soon as possible.

“We are aware that there are many people waiting to buy sitting on the fence,” Malek said. “They’re waiting for this announcement to be made.”

As of Sept. 30, 454 of the 737 condos for sale in the Olympic Village remained unsold. Sixty per cent of Millennium’s 119 rental units were rented. The city was scrambling to figure out how it would fill its 252 units of proposed rental and subsidized housing after Rich Coleman, minister of housing and social development, rejected all three operating bids.

Bob Rennie, director of Bob Rennie Marketing Systems, hopes the city will sign off on a new pricing and incentives package within the next three weeks.

Bill Aujla, the city’s project manager for Southeast False Creek and the Olympic Village, couldn’t say Oct. 8 whether the new marketing plan would be approved by November. He said the city could complete its risk assessment of the plan, as a lender, as early as today (Oct. 13).

Last week, the city announced Millennium was $2 million behind on repaying its loan as of Sept. 20. The city wanted a loan repayment and a marketing plan. It is still waiting for the loan repayment plan.

As of Oct. 7, Millennium owes the city $562.7 million plus accrued interest and servicing fees.

Malek noted 85 per cent of the commercial space at the Olympic Village has been leased. A TD Canada Trust bank is to open there Oct. 18. Malek said Legacy Liquor Store will launch in November and London Drugs and Urban Fare are scheduled to open in the spring.

Millennium hopes to sell the remaining 454 Olympic Village condos within two-and-a-half years.

Millennium and Rennie are forging ahead with another condo development in West Vancouver north of Park Royal mall.

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