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Vancouver may loan Millennium up to $100-million

The City of Vancouver may lend up to $100-million to the developer responsible for the Olympic village project, according to a Globe and Mail article published today.

City council secretly authorized the potential loan to the Millennium Development Corp. during an in-camera Oct. 14 meeting. The financial bailout will be used to cover cost overruns incurred by the struggling Olympic project.

Funding for the loan will be drawn primarily from the city's Property Endowment Fund. The fund is used by the city to strategically purchase and develop land.

Councillor Peter Ladner recently claimed the city was "investing heavily through the property endowment fund" in order to complete the Millennium Development’s project in time for the Olympics.

The Olympic village is not the only Millennium project in development trouble.

Nanaimo residents expressed outrage about Millennium’s hotel development project there. Land for the Nanaimo development -- estimated to be worth $1.5 million -- was sold to the developer for $10 in order to encourage investment in the hotel.

Despite the incentive, Millennium missed several deadlines to secure financing for building. Millennium’s inability to meet financial deadlines has led some critics to wonder if the development group “will have enough money to complete the hotel," according to Nanaimo Daily News.

In West Vancouver, Millennium halted construction at its Evelyn Drive housing project. Building stopped in mid-October and is not scheduled to resume until 2009.

According to the Journal of Commerce, Millennium assured city planners that development financing was in place, and that work stoppage was not related to the current economic climate.

The Tyee contacted Millennium Development Corp. for comment, but was told their media contact would be away on vacation until late next week.

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