It’s tough to have an Olympics without a place for the athletes to stay. But that could be the reality if organizers of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver don’t get an emergency loan from the government of British Columbia to fund the athlete’s village.
According to reports in Canadian media, Vancouver has about half of the $800 million project funded, but the rest fell through after U.S.-based Fortress Investment Group stopped advancing money, citing rising construction costs and a fear about the slowing housing market.
From what we can tell, this is another example of someone relying on the real estate market to finance a sporting venue, and now the economy has made such an arrangement impossible. Under the financing plan, Fortress was supposed to advance the money to Vancouver, who would build the athlete’s village and then convert them to regular housing after the games ended. Those units would be sold to pay back Fortress after the games.But the housing market has softened to the point wher Fortress is nervous about lending more cash.
The city council of Vancouver voted unanimously in favor of a one-time amendment to allow the city to borrow money from the province government without a public referendum.