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Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden filled the silence saying if
Rainbow doesn’t deliver according to the schedule, the project will be delayed
past the sale of the athletes’ village units — which could stretch until
“There aren’t enough people out there to put all of this
product on the market at the same time,” she said. “We know we have to deliver
the athletes’ village and we know that once the Olympics are done all of that
product (will) come on the market. We can’t have the market non-existent
because Rainbow’s come on late and filled the marketplace and supplied all the
There will be 250 housing units for sale in the athletes’
village after the 2010 Games.
The municipality established an independent organization called
the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation to develop the $130 million athletes’
village/legacy neighbourhood in the Lower Cheakamus. The municipality is the
sole shareholder of the corporation.
The mayor said there is a “very aggressive” business model for
the absorption of the homes post-2010.
The development corporation expects to recover more than $80
million — and essentially break even — through the sale of the
housing units. Ensuring there are buyers for those units is a critical piece of
the business plan.
It states: “One of the biggest financial risks of the project
appears to be the sale of up to 251 residential units over a (two) year period,
in a market that has historically incorporated 40 resident units per year. The
annual uptake of 40 units has been based on a limited supply, and does not
indicate that this is the maximum uptake capacity.”
In order to mitigate this risk, the plan suggests there could
be presales of the units to potential project partners before the Olympics.
“There’s a window in there between 2009-2012, arguably 2013
more realistically, before all the units in the athletes’ village are
absorbed,” said Melamed.
And that’s why it’s critical to have Rainbow stick to its
schedule and deliver before the Olympics.
Rainbow does not have final zoning approval. That is expected
to come in the spring if the developer delivers on all outstanding conditions
The business deal is expected to come before the WHA board next