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Rainbow reaches targets, onsite work stopped

Mayor reaffirms commitment to the large employee housing project

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By Alison Taylor

Rainbow’s developers have shut down construction on their employee housing site after reaching their goals for this stage of the development.

Project manager Bill Hayes quelled the rumours this week that the site has been shut down because their financing has been pulled.

“The financing is still in place,” he said. “We’ve just achieved our goals and objectives on the site and putting more money into it at this point will not advance it any further in terms of our schedule.”

After a big push to prep portions of the 45-acre site over the winter, the developers have completed several portions of the road and finished preparing 60 per cent of the lots.

“We are in a good position,” said Hayes. “The good weather allowed us to get ahead of our construction schedule.”

Now the developers are focusing on delivering the engineering drawings to municipal hall throughout this month. Approval of those drawings is essential before council can adopt the bylaws for the large employee housing project.

At Monday’s council meeting, Pique columnist G.D. Maxwell asked for an update on the development and pointedly asked who on council would champion the project.

“We’re all champions of Rainbow,” said Mayor Ken Melamed.

After the meeting he reiterated the municipality’s commitment to the project.

“The developer and the municipality are saying the same thing,” he said. “We’re both committed to making it a reality.”

The Whistler Housing Authority has been inundated with the names of resident employees who have signed up to the Rainbow waitlist to buy housing. Since the list began two weeks ago it has grown to more than 90 applicants — 48 for duplexes and 46 for single-family homes. There are still applications coming into the WHA every week.

The first phase of the Rainbow development, which is to be completed by the end of 2007, is to deliver 24 duplexes and 43 single-family homes. By build out in the next three years there will be 80 duplexes and 70 single-family homes.

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