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Canucks owners interested in Olympic Village

Could the owners of the Vancouver Canucks add the Olympic Village to their real estate portfolio?

“We could afford to,” Aquilini Development president David Negrin told QMI. “ We definitely have an interest and I’m sure there’s 10 other guys out there who have an interest.”

The $1.1 billion complex across False Creek from the Aquilini family’s Rogers Arena went into receivership Wednesday. Millennium Development ceded control to Ernst and Young after failing to resolve a $740 million debt to city hall.

Negrin said he held “very casual” talks with Millennium partners Shahram Malekyazdi and Peter Malek four months ago.

“Give them credit for taking on a project of that size and getting it built,” Negrin said. “It was built at a time when construction prices were the highest in probably 20 years, now construction prices have dropped 35 per cent.”

Negrin, who was on the Mayor’s Advisory Group on the Olympic Village, said the city is challenged to unload condos built too large with price tags too high. The city could gain revenue faster by selling parcels or renting some or all of the 474 unsold suites.

“It’s all about price point,” Negrin said. “If you’re under $400,000 it sells, if you’re over $400,000 it’s a tough sell, if you’re over $500,000 it’s a really tough sell.

“I wouldn’t have built the whole complex at once, I would’ve built a few towers and sold those after the Olympics and then moved on,” he said. “But at the time they built it, the (real estate) market was great.”

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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