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$1.5 million budgeted to entice buyers to athletes’ village

Project to be delivered in latter half of 2010 for $231/square foot



Almost $1.5 million has been set aside for sales and marketing of the athletes’ village project, according to the revised business plan released this week.

That shows just how important it is for the municipality’s Whistler Development Corporation (WDC) to sell the housing units prior to the 2010 Games. If it doesn’t it could be on the hook for millions and millions of dollars.

“I’m always worried,” smiled WDC chair Eric Martin, at Saturday’s open house, despite the healthy turnout of people.

“The only challenge is — it’s a lot of product.”

The latter half of 2010 will likely see more employee housing product released to the Whistler marketplace than ever before. Roughly 250 units at the athletes’ village will become available for occupancy in the wake of the Games, likely staggered over a two-year period.

At the same time, however, the Rainbow employee development could be releasing some of its more than 200 units to the marketplace.

That competition isn’t lost on the athletes’ village developers. Working to the WDC’s advantage, however, is the fact that there’s a secure move-in date and a firm price point to entice residents.

Neither of those things are set in stone with Rainbow.

That was not lost on some of the 200 people who turned out for an open house at Whistler Secondary School Saturday.

“My confidence in that place (Rainbow) being done in a timely fashion — zero,” said Dwayne Pryor.

Pryor and his wife have had their names on the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) waitlist for the past four years.

Now they see an end to their wait. They are number two on the list for a two-bedroom townhouse at Cheakamus Crossing, the new name for the athletes’ village.

Pryor was appealing to developers at the open house to allow more room for parking in the complex he has picked out. Current designs only allow for four guest parking spots and two spots per unit.

And while they won’t be able to move into their home for another two years, there’s a sense of security and surety in knowing that it will be ready in the latter half of 2010 and that they’ll be paying roughly $231 per square foot.

At that price, Cheakamus Crossing is cheaper than existing employee housing units at 19 Mile Creek and Bear Ridge. On average those units are turning over for roughly $250/square foot, because at one point in time they were tied to a higher appreciation formula.

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