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After Olympic Glory, the Financial Ruin

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Nine months after the Winter Olympics, the price to the city's taxpayers is staggering. The city and the developer of the $1 billion athlete's village project agreed to appoint a receiver over the company, which has failed to make scheduled loan payments, and hundreds of condos in the village remain unsold.

Amid the worldwide credit crunch, Millennium Southeast False Creek Properties found itself unable to finance the massive project after it defaulted on loans from Fortress Credit Corp. In a politically controversial move, the city stepped in and assumed the debt, hoping to recoup $740 million when units from the former Olympic Village went on the market.

But the development sits half-empty, with 450 units unsold as buyers refuse to pay the more than $500,000 price tags for the condos.

Ernst & Young has been appointed as receiver over the project, now known as Millennium Water. The city acknowledges that "it will be very difficult to recoup all of the investment for taxpayers."

Vancouver's 12-page petition to the B.C. Supreme Court contains details about the bankruptcy and receivership.


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