Olympic Village owners ask for money back in lawsuit
Published Wednesday, March 16, 2011 7:24PM PDT
Dozens of owners at Vancouver's former Olympic Village are suing the city, asking for their money back for what they say is "inferior design and craftsmanship" in their high-priced condos.
In five claims filed in B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday, 62 owners allege that they were victims of false advertising when they bought into the waterfront development. The owners claim that the quality they saw in the display suites was significantly better than what they found in their condos.
"What they were promised was world-class, luxury design," lawyer Wesley McMillan told ctvbc.ca.
"They didn't build what they promised to build."
He says that instead of the "extraordinary levels of luxury" promised in marketing for the Village, the owners discovered their suites aren't much better than rental apartments.
In some cases, doors will slam into each other if they're opened at the same time. In others, residents aren't able to open their closet doors if anything larger than a double bed is placed in the master bedroom.
"Not being able to fit a queen-sized bed in a master bedroom is a major design flaw," McMillan said.
Other residents have had problems with persistent leaky ceilings and faulty heating. A video released by the owners shows water dripping from light fixtures and smoke alarms.
"One guy's had his entire ceiling ripped out because they can't figure out why his heating system doesn't work," McMillan said.
The residents are asking for the right to rescind their purchase agreements and refunds for the full price of suites and all out-of-pocket expenses.
None of the allegations in the claims have been proven in court.
The city's lawyer George Macintosh said in email that this is the first time he's heard allegations about building deficiencies in the Village, and he's unable to comment on those claims.
The suits also allege improper filing of disclosure statements during sales, but Macintosh said those claims are "without merit."
The Village development was placed in receivership in November, after developer Millennium Southeast False Creek came up short on its loan payments to the city.
After strong presales of 223 units in 2008, the development struggled to find buyers and only 36 units were sold between May and November 2010, leaving 454 unsold.
The units went back on the market last month in fire sale, with discounts of up to 50 per cent. Units previously sold for almost $2.5 million were marked down to $1.4 million.
By the end of February, more than 128 units had sold.