April 28, 2014 5:05 pm

Aquilini Group purchases all Olympic Village units; city pays off debt

The City of Vancouver has announced that it has re-paid its $630 million debt incurred by taking on the Olympic Village condo development after its developer ran into financial trouble.

The Aquilini Group has purchased the final 67 market condos for sale at the Olympic Village for $91 million.

The city has reportedly also recovered an additional $70 million worth of community amenities and infrastructure.

Mayor Gregor Robertson made the announcement at city hall Monday.

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“I’m thrilled to announce we delivered gold for taxpayers on the Olympic Village. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment on a project many said would never make it into the black.”

“When I stepped into office we were facing a dire situation,” says Robertson. “The previous mayor and council put taxpayers at risk for the $1.1 billion project.”

Robertson praised the efforts of KPMG, Ernst & Young and Bob Rennie — along with some of the first retail tenants in the Village — for the sales success and turnaround of the neighbourhood.

The bulk condo sale is the second major acquisition by the Aquilini Group in past month. In March, the Aquilini Group acquired the Toptable Group, the owners of several high-end Vancouver restaurants, including the Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar and CinCin Restaurant + Bar.

The Aquilini Group also owns the Vancouver Canucks and is a major Vancouver property developer. The company is currently developing several rental highrises surrounding Rogers Arena.

Robertson says the deal with the Aquilini Group has “no connection” to other land throughout the city, or the removal of the viaducts.

“Now that the debt has been paid down, we can have nothing but good thoughts now that the dark cloud has been blown away,” Robertson says.

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