This is about:

  • The Deputy Premier appointing a realtor to the BC Housing Board.
  • A loan approved by the BC Housing Board purely to finance condos.
  • A “Pre-Sale” loan feature granted by BC Housing just for condos.
  • How BC Housing’s website discloses misleading information about this loan.
  • How a former BC Housing Board member got millions in condo listings.
  • The coincidental fact that the same realtor has been raising millions for the Housing Minister’s political party!
South Van Parks Society (@feesimple)
 March 10, 2017 at 9:15 AM

The BC Government has been the sole financier of a luxury condo development site in downtown Vancouver since loan documents were signed on March 17, 2014, enabling Brenhill Development to secure a spec property at 508 Helmcken.

At first blush the initial loan looks as though it was only financing purely social housing at 1077-1099 Richards, when in fact it was providing all the needed money to secure land rights to a valuable development site elsewhere. After Mr.Rennie left BC Housing, Pre-Sales at the spec market 508 Helmcken site would eventually be marketed exclusively by his Rennie Marketing Systems. For no rational reason, all Brenhill’s competitors were excluded from the opportunity to acquire the development property from the City. The Liberal fundraising chair Bob Rennie, happened to be on the BC Housing Board when they approved this loan of over $25 million dollars. Lending for construction of luxury condos is not part of BC Housing’s declared mandate, so how many other market condo sites are receiving such taxpayer assistance? Rennie Marketing Systems name also popped up as providing input into a City oversight report contracted for the City’s disposal of this spec condo site and we await more information on through assistance from the OIPC.

It was back on April 26th, 2012, when BC Deputy Premier / BC Housing Minister Rich Coleman, appointed Mr.Bob Rennie to the BC Housing Board of Directors for a two year term. Mr.Rennie became chair of the Capital Review Committee. The Board shares the responsibility of deciding all loans over $25 million dollars. Shortly before the first of two loans was approved, Michael Flanagan, Director of real estate services at the City of Vancouver was hired at BC Housing where he continued his involvement in this plan which he had helped structure while at the City. 


Signed March 17, 2014
 Loan #1 - $36.2 Million registered at 1077-1099 Richards street

This loan secured the site for the developer by covering some negotiated fees to the City.

Feature of Loan – “Pre-Sale”

A special feature was included in the loan.

Signed Aug 9, 2016
 Loan #2 - $39 Million registered at 508 Helmcken Street - No social housing - Different Location

On August 12, 2016, the 2014 $36.2 million social housing loan was terminated and a new $39 million loan issued by the BC Housing Board on a different property site. The new 2016 loan was approved in early 2014 with some unique wording. The new loan was granted to finance the market condo “pre-sale” of 508 Helmcken, which would later be marketed by Liberal fundraising chair Bob Rennie. There is no social housing at 508 Helmcken. The 2016 mortgage was issued only to finance the luxury tower known as “8X8 ON THE PARK”. This is a development with only market housing. The 2014 loan feature set in place the pre-approval for a new mortgage elsewhere at the market only site. Brenhill executed the original loan on March 17, 2014. Financing disclosures have been misleading by BC Housing and the City of Vancouver who together arranged the financing for the luxury condos. The multi million dollar real estate listing for these condos was then exclusively contracted to one company by the new owner. That company is controlled by Bob Rennie who has been a chief fundraiser of both the BC Liberals and Vancouver Vision.

“EXTENSION” for a new Mortgage at another location – the condo site.

Fundraising Chair for BC Liberal Party

In 2014, when the first of two loans (1099_Mort_1_2014 ) was approved by the BC Housing Board, the board included Bob Rennie, who at the time was the chief fundraiser for the BC Liberal party. At some after leaving BC Housing, his firm secured the exclusive multi million dollar “Pre-Sale” listing with Brenhill for this development property with his Rennie Marketing Systems. Rennie left the BC Housing Board 6 weeks after the Brenhill Development executives signed the first loan and the BC Housing Board then granted the loan approval.

Mandate of BC Housing

The BC Housing mandate does not include funding luxury condo construction and sales, nor does it include serving the needs of realtors or developers of market priced luxury condos.

Two big issues

Four years prior to the 2016 transfer of 508 Helmcken from the City to the developer, City staff agreed to create and transfer 360,000 square feet of new City owned land rights to Brenhill and contracts were signed. The City also agreed to help arrange favourable financing.

No value was declared to City Council by staff for the valuable (non negotiable) land interests that were given to the developer. Land interests are required by law to be calculated and paid in full to the City, at actual market value. Disclosure of value never occurred regarding the new density when the land rights were disposed. The City attempted to get public support by showing they negotiated “CAC’s” in exchange for promised high rise rezoning. As it turns out, some of the CAC was paid but it appears that nothing was paid for the land interests.

Next problem. No money. The deal was made so that the developer could secure exclusive rights to this deal and the valuable condo building site by using “OPM” (Other Peoples Money). BC Housing was happy to assist, and $39 million was provided at about a 1.1% interest rate for the condo site.

BC Housing decided to provide:

  • More than enough money to cover estimated $30.6 million in costs
  • Pre-Sale financing for luxury condos at low rates.

The first of the two loans began as a way to secure the developers Community “CAC” payment to the City, which would guarantee transfer of the valuable development site to the developer. A unique clause was included in the 2014 loan, so that when that deal was completed, the first loan would not have to be paid back for nearly a year while a new loan was advanced for the luxury development site. The new higher value loan ($39million)was advanced from BC Housing to allow Brenhill’s realtor time to market and sell the Pre-Sale market condos. The $39 million BC Housing loan was still appearing on the land title record as of March 2, 2017 although it was in the process of being replaced by a much higher interest rate mortgage after the 85% of condos were announced as sold. Today Rennie Marketing Systems still continues to sell the remaining luxury condo Pre-Sales for Brenhill. 

“Pre-Sale Achievements”

Aug 2016 BC Housing Loan #2  

$39 Million Loan - Registered to the Strata Condo Site at 508 Helmcken
  • This loan was never registered to the social housing site which completed long ago.
  • This $39 Million Mortgage approval has only been registered on the Strata condo site at 508 Helmcken. The social housing site has other loans but it does not have this one. This has been only for condo pre-sale financing purposes.

Pre-Sales    A Rennie Marketing Specialty

“In 2015, we sold over $1 billion in pre-sale real estate across a portfolio of 21 projects. We pre-sell an average of 1,500 homes per year”.

Full 2016 Loan #2 PDF -

Rennie Marketing Systems - Sales

Sample Listing Details

We have conservatively estimated that Rennie Marketing System’s gross sales revenue would be over $6 million dollars for all realtors involved before expenses.

Bob Rennie's Liberal Fundraising Activity

The Globe and Mail has reported that Mr.Rennie has raised millions of dollars for the BC Liberals as their chief party fundraiser. Mr. Rennie has also contributed generously in a more direct way.


Our Society has obtained non public internal City calculations from multiple sources including a top official involved in the deal. These calculations paint a far different story about what the City knew and what they disclosed. The math on this land disposal from the City just didn't make sense. More information continues to flow in. We encourage other insiders to voluntarily disclose any details that could be of interest to the public, to the appropriate organizations and media. We will present more of our findings when they are ready.CONTACT: @FeeSimplePark