If projects fail, will our cities be left with huge holes to fill?
In a story published in this week’s issue of Maclean’s (and on the Web below) we look at the plague of condo holes afflicting Canada’s once-hot real estate markets. With several construction projects halted, and rumours flying around many others, we thought we’d found a bright spot with Vancouver’s Ritz Carlton condominium development. The project was put on hold last year. Then earlier this month several backhoes returned to the site and resumed moving dirt. The developer didn’t return calls confirming whether the Ritz was back on or not, but we decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. We did so too soon. On Wednesday the Vancouver Sun reported the luxury condo project has officially been killed.
It’s worth noting the location of the Ritz project is a particularly sensitive one for Vancouver’s bruised real estate ego. When the last bubble burst in the 1990s, a half-built concrete tower was abandoned there. For years it was an ugly reminder of the excesses the city’s real estate developers, investors and buyers are prone to. Now a six storey-deep hole in the exact same spot could prove to be an eyesore for months, even years, to come.