Can lower prices kill Olympic Village's 'ghost town' image?
The marketer at the centre of Vancouver's troubled Olympic Village project announced a new pricing structure Thursday that he hopes will boost sluggish sales and help sell the remaining units.
A year after Olympic athletes flooded the Southeast False Creek development during the 2010 Winter Games, legendary marketer Bob Rennie is re-launching the sales campaign and is discounting the remaining units by up to 50 per cent.
He hopes it will remove the financing cloud hanging over the development – which was built on taxpayer dollars -- and shed the negativity around what has become one of the most controversial housing projects in Vancouver's history.
"We have a ghost town cloud over the village, we all know it, you've all written about it and I have to remove that cloud," Rennie said, adding that his team has received offers on 31 of the properties.
Rennie said he remains confident about the quality of the units and hopes the new pricing will entice people to take a second look at living there.
"I do not believe I've ever had a product problem, I've never had a proximity problem, but what I did have was a pricing problem," he said.
Marketers are focusing on selling off 230 units in the Bridge and Kayak buildings around the perimeter of the complex. They are holding off on selling the two waterfront buildings until these are sold.
In total, 114 of the back-row condos will be available for rent to temporarily fill out the population.
Some of the discounts include:
- 1 bed, 566-sq-ft was $530,900 and is now $420,000
- 2 bed + flex, 1153-sq-ft was $1,345,900 and is now $970,900
- 3 bed + fam + flex, 2509-sq-ft was $4,850,900 and is now $2,999,900
- 2 bed + fam + flex, 1674-sq-ft was $2,475,900 and is now $1,399,900
Rennie vows to sell 60 suites in 60 days. He expects the project will be fully sold out in two years.
The City of Vancouver put the troubled $1-billion project into receivership last fall after the developer fell short on its loan payments because of poor sales. Rennie has not said whether the discounted prices will ensure city taxpayers will get their money back.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan