City hands over village - Metro US

City hands over village

As the Olympic clock outside the Art Gallery ticked down past 100 days yesterday, Vancouver handed over the keys to its almost $1.2-billion Olympic Village to organizers of the 2010 Games.

The Southeast False Creek village, which aims to be one of the greenest communities in North America, has 1,100 suites and will be home to 2,730 athletes and officials during the Olympics, as well as 350 more during the Paralympics.

“A miracle has been performed on this site,” VANOC CEO John Furlong said yesterday. “Wait to see what happens when athletes walk in here for the first time, they’re not going to believe their eyes.”

Media were taken on a tour yesterday of the site’s community centre, which will house a restaurant and child-care facility, as well as a penthouse suite with views of the downtown core and North Shore Mountains.

The village, built on a 4.5-hectare industrial site on the south side of False Creek, is built to extremely high environmental standards. It features green roofs and uses rainwater for toilets. It also makes use of heat recovery from sewers.

Bob Rennie, the man in charge of selling the 730 market condos, called the village “the greenest community in the world.” He has sold 263 of the units and will begin selling the remaining ones in May.

The cost of the village, to the end of the city’s loan, Jan. 1, 2013, is $996 million. The land price is an additional $200 million.

The first athletes are set to arrive Jan. 29.

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