Athletes’ village taking shape 

Infrastructure in place, community open house planned for March

click to enlarge Olympic Support Girders are installed for a new bridge over the Cheakamus River. Photo by Ian Robertson/Coastphoto.com.
  • Olympic Support Girders are installed for a new bridge over the Cheakamus River. Photo by Ian Robertson/Coastphoto.com.

Foundations have been poured, roads have been paved, and interest is building in the Whistler Athletes’ Village housing project.

“We are very excited about the progress we have made this season,” Eric Martin, chairman for the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation, said in a release. “At this point, we are on schedule. There will be approximately 170 townhomes available for purchase through the Whistler Housing Authority and foundations for 60 of these as well as for the WHA rental building are nearly complete.”

In an interview, Martin added that the project still looks to be on budget.

“We had a board meeting in December to go over a business plan update,” he said. “We should make amendments and reconcile the numbers by the end of the month and then we’ll update our numbers. We’ve got a board meeting in mid-January and then we’ll present the updated business plan after that.

“But the preliminary numbers are looking good.”

A significant amount of infrastructure for the neighbourhood is now in place. Three roads within the neighbourhood have been paved and the girders have been installed for a new bridge crossing over the Cheakamus River. The bridge decking may be installed in the next few weeks, depending on the weather.

The athletes’ village will be used to house up to 2,500 athletes coaches and trainers during the 2010 Winter Olympics. After the Games the village will become Whistler’s newest residential neighbourhood.

The village is being built on Crown land donated by the province, adjacent to Whistler’s former landfill.

“The design of the neighbourhood was shaped by the needs and wants of Whistler residents,” explained Martin. “People want to be able to live close to where they work. This makes sense both from an emotional and an environmental perspective. They also want something that fits into the natural landscape, so our designers and architects have used natural materials with a contemporary focus.”

In total, approximately 240 units — townhomes and condominiums — will be available through the Whistler Housing Authority. Whistler employees who want to find out more about the development can sign up to receive regular updates by visiting the website at www.whistlerdevelopmentcorp.ca. There is also information about how to sign up for the Whistler Housing Authority waiting list.

In March 2008, Whistler 2020 Development Corporation will host a Community Open House where anyone who is interested can see plans and designs for the neighbourhood.

Martin said another building in the athletes’ village has recently been reviewed by the municipality’s advisory design panel and four others should go to the design panel in the next couple of months. He estimated 80 per cent of all units should be “in the ground” next summer.

The Whistler 2020 Development Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, created to facilitate the delivery of the $131 million Whistler Athletes’ Village for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The athletes’ centre, which will include a high-performance gymnasium, a lodge and townhouses accommodating a total of 350 people, is a separate project being financed and built by VANOC. The most recent estimate for the athletes’ centre, released in October, was $46 million.

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