City drops $112,000 on Olympic Village promos

Monday, June 27th, 2011

About 139 units available, 189 yet to hit market

Cheryl Rossi
Van. Courier

As of May 17, just over half of the 737 strata units developed in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics had sold. Photograph by: Dan Toulgoet, Vancouver Courier

The city is spending $112,000 to showcase the former Olympic Village this summer. Ernst and Young Inc., the receiver for the development, has dedicated more than $100,000 from the proceeds of condo sales, market rentals and commercial leases at The Village on False Creek to event programming, with the hope that a vibrant atmosphere will translate into condo sales. “By promoting the village this summer and introducing more people to this incredible neighbourhood, we’re also supporting the real estate marketing campaign,” said Craig Munro, senior vice-president with Ernst and Young. “That means selling more condominiums and getting more money back into the hands of the lender and the taxpayers of Vancouver.” Munro said business improvement associations typically organize such special events. But only a liquor store and bank operate in the ghost town-like development. The receiver is working with community organizations, non-profits and the Creekside Community Centre to draw visitors. Munro said festivities are being programmed over four months with 23 individual affairs and 26 days of events, as highlighted on Just over half of the 737 strata units developed in time for the 2010 Winter Games had sold as of May 17, and 22 of the strata units were rented. Munro said the firm estimated that about 60 per cent of the strata and rental units were occupied as of May 17. All of the 119 purpose-built rental units have tenants. (These figures don’t include the 252 units built to be affordable and social housing.) Munro, who responded to questions from the Courier via email as per Ernst and Young’s policy, said about 139 units are available for purchase while another 189 have yet to be relaunched onto the market. Condo marketer Bob Rennie said in February that he’d urge Ernst and Young not to rent further strata units as sales were going well. But Munro said the firm is considering renting additional strata units to generate revenue and accelerate occupancy, depending on how sales progress over the next few months. Ernst and Young hired brand.LIVE, the events company that produces the Celebration of Light, Canada Day at Canada Place and the Live at Squamish music festival, in May. Catherine Runnals, president of brand.LIVE, says the recent Carnivale, with its 65-foot-tall ferris wheel and performances by Public Dreams, attracted 1,000 visitors to the fledgling neighbourhood. Outdoor yoga classes also run there every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Munro said Terra Breads operates a coffee kiosk in the development’s plaza and its café is slated to open in the neighbourhood in July. Upcoming events include an MEC Bikefest June 25, the Portobello West fashion and art market June 26, jazz festival performances July 2, and a Teddy Bears’ Picnic July 16. Thursday night outdoor movies start in August. The Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival moved to the area this year and reportedly attracted more than 100,000 visitors. © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier

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