05 February 2010
Photo: Canadian Press
The Athlete's Village is located along Vancouver's False Creek located just outside of the downtown core. It is in one of the most up and coming residential spots in Vancouver nestled right next to the seawall (seaside path for pedestrians, cyclists and inline skaters) that runs along Vancouver's shore.
The village is a $1 billion dollar project that consists of a mix of 1,100 low and mid-rise apartment buildings that are planned to accommodate an Olympic population of 2,730. It is located 2.4 km away from Canada Hockey Place and 12 km away from UBC Thunderbird Arena.
The village, which will be called Millenium Water after the games are over, is a project between the City of Vancouver and VANOC which was designed with the City of Vancouver's plans for creating a sustainable community in the area. The development will also include a mix of 250 affordable housing units, 100 rental units, a 45,000 sq ft community centre, three child care centres, an elementary school, community garden and public plaza. The tops of the buildings have 'green roof's for gardening and uses heat recoverd from spent sewage through the use of a neighborhood energy utility built under the Cambie Street Bridge.
Once the Olympic athletes start moving in, look out for the flags that will be hung outside on the balconies of the apartments. It's a bit of an Olympic tradition and the Australian Olympic Team was the first team to kick it off this year with their boxing kangaroo.
Hockey Players and The Village
Most hockey players participating in the Olympics will stay in the Olympic Village. It has been confirmed that Team Canada, even though the team's combined income is over $120 million, will all stay at the Olympic Village along with the other athletes. Even Canuck players who call Vancouver their hometown, like Luongo or Ehrhoff will temporarily move into the village during the Olympics. The village provides the athletes food, gym equipment, access to television and the internet and a place to stay. The real benefit to the athletes about the village is that media and fans are not allowed in. They will also get to hang out with their teammates and other athletes.
What Happens After?
Sales for the units were planned to cover the majority of the cost of the construction of the village but the cost for the village went $100 million over budget and the economic downturn did nothing to help the sales of the units. This has thrown a wrench into the vision that the city had for what happens to the village. On one hand, the city wants to recoup as much money as they can from the sales of units for the money invested, which was money from the taxpayers of Vancouver. On the other hand, the city still wants to commit to their plan of affordable housing which was one of the ideas that the current mayor campaigned for during his election. It's a tough one on the city as they don't want the taxpayer to be unhappy, but at the same time don't want to back out of their commitment to affordable housing. On February 3, 2010 CTV reports that thecity still plans to sell 252 affordable housing units after the Games, but whether that will include the units already built or a new site surrounding the village has yet to be decided on.
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