Millennium Development Corp., the project’s developer, promised to build the Olympic Village to the highest construction standards in the world. No expenses were to have been spared during the construction of this unique complex. Many people thought of the Olympic Village as a first-rate housing estate and display of Vancouver’s finest design, and it was also celebrated for meeting the highest environmental standards.
But difficulties started in 2010 as the Vancouver Olympics approached. A record sum of $193 million was bid on the building site, and a private developer began construction with initial success. However, he was not able to proceed because of the enormous increase in construction costs caused by the worldwide recession and an increasingly obstinate American hedge-fund lender. To ensure the village was finished on time, the city had to take over the loan itself. City Hall has launched a new sales campaign in an attempt to compensate for the invested money.
Nearly 25 per cent of the original buyers in the Olympic village have filed lawsuits to recoup their money. They claim that the condos they bought are not what they were promised: “We received medium-quality apartments that we could never resell for the same price. They leak or the doors don’t work properly or the work is shoddy – or all of the above.” A video showing all of the mentioned problems and more was published recently. Water pouring out of light fixtures, cracks in ceilings, heating malfunctions, bedrooms that are too small to fit a bed in, and hardwood floors that are bubbling because of moisture: these are just some of the many problems that revealed themselves once owners moved in. “One of our bathroom doors opens out into the hallway,” Ms. Lee told me. The Lees are among those who have filed a class-action lawsuit demanding a refund.