Despite Vancouver’s hot real estate market, Condo King Bob Rennie expects it will take two years to sell off the remaining suites in the Olympic athletes village.
Beginning May 15, Rennie Marketing Systems will begin selling the remaining 452 condos (of 737 market sale units) at Millennium Water — a $1-billion city-financed green neighbourhood on the edge of False Creek.
It’s also the place Sidney Crosby slept the night he scored Canada’s golden goal in the men’s hockey finals.
“We’ve just been through an amazing branding campaign to the world,” Rennie said, “handing out our business card and explaining what a wonderful place this is to live.”
Nobody, he said, could measure how much the Olympic exposure will help to sell the village, “but it definitely doesn’t hurt.”
Prices for the condos, including those in one of the last buildings designed by famed architect Arthur Erickson, will be released May 15 following a ceremony with Olympic athletes and VANOC CEO John Furlong.
The main selling points, Rennie said, are the location, the waterfront views of False Creek and the downtown peninsula, and bragging rights as North America’s greenest neighbourhood.
The Olympic Village, which has 1,108 affordable and market housing units, was originally estimated to cost $750 million, but overruns inflated the cost to $1 billion.
Millennium Water was originally sold, as a presale, in 2007. In those first days, people lined up overnight on the sidewalk for a chance to buy.
A total of 263 units sold before the economy tanked and Vancouver’s housing market shrivelled up. Rennie and the city decided to stop sales at the end of 2008 and to wait until the market rebounded.
“There wasn’t a market,” Rennie said. “It didn’t matter that you stocked your shelves with peanut butter. Nobody was buying peanut butter. We just stopped, knowing that the market would come back ... nobody panicked.”
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