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HomeBusinessExclusive: Ex-Vancouver 2010 exec running for Trudeau Liberals profited from flipping condos near Olympic venues

Exclusive: Ex-Vancouver 2010 exec running for Trudeau Liberals profited from flipping condos near Olympic venues

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Bob Mackin

The Trudeau Liberal candidate in Vancouver Granville grossed a six-figure profit from buying and selling condos near Winter Olympic venues while he worked as a vice-president of the Vancouver 2010 organizing committee, theBreaker.news has learned.

Taleeb Noormohamed during his vice-presidency with VANOC (Vince Fedoroff/Ismailimail)

Property records show Taleeb Noormohamed bought five Vancouver properties from the end of June 2007 to late November 2009. Four were condominiums within a short walk of downtown venues for Olympic hockey and ceremonies.

One was in a tower developed by Olympics sponsor Concord Pacific above the Costco across from Games hockey venue Rogers Arena. He bought for $297,000 in February 2008 and sold for $314,900 in November 2009. A $17,900 profit.

On the same day as that sale, Noormohamed bought a Yaletown condo for $425,000, which he unloaded for $449,000, a $24,000 gross profit, after the Games in April 2010.

Noormohamed also bought a condo for $440,000 on Main Street in June 2007. The Russian government rented nearby Science World to promote the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. In March 2011, Noormohamed sold the unit for $475,000, a $35,000 gross profit.

Noormohamed’s gross profit for the transactions between August 2009 and March 2011 was $105,000.

But a property data spreadsheet, released by the NDP, does not show whether Noormohamed also generated rental income during his 2007 to 2010 tenure as vice-president of strategy and partnerships for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizing committee, also known as VANOC.

Noormohamed worked with the office of CEO John Furlong on a variety of files, including national and international client services and the sale of sponsorship packages to provincial and territorial governments.

In the years before the 2010 Games, downtown accommodation scarcity was a major worry of civic governments and Games organizers. Some of the pressure subsided in the fall of 2008 when the Great Recession caused several major sponsors to cut back on hotel reservations.

theBreaker.news wanted to ask Noormohamed questions about his real estate activities and whether he disclosed any of that to his superiors at VANOC.

Concord Pacific’s 131 Regiment Square tower near Rogers Arena. (Google maps)

He did not respond to phone or email messages.

Noormohamed was the losing Liberal candidate in 2011 in North Vancouver and 2019 in Vancouver Granville.

Jesse Bartsoff, who is on election leave from being an aide to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, sent a prepared statement on behalf of Noormohamed.

“I am fully committed to making housing more affordable across Canada, and right here at home in Vancouver Granville,” said the statement attributed to Noormohamed. “Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the most ambitious plan of any party to make housing more affordable – and I will work hard to make that plan a reality. While I have had business activities improving homes, I have been consistent in my support for measures to make housing more affordable, and as the MP for Vancouver Granville, it will remain a priority.”

theBreaker.news pressed Bartsoff further to arrange an interview, but he replied: “Mr. Noormohamed is unavailable for comment beyond our previous statement.”

During his time with VANOC, Noormohamed had access to considerable insider information about Olympic accommodation needs. He was also subject to internal conflict of interest disclosure policies and procedures, according to the organization’s last sustainability report in late 2010.

“Senior managers were also required to file such documentation, only once, in 2008, though with a requirement that they proactively update their original filing if their circumstances changed,” the report said. “This process identified potential conflicts while sending a strong message to the entire workforce about how VANOC conducted business.”

It is not possible to independently verify whether Noormohamed disclosed his condo transactions near Olympic venues or whether he derived any rental income. VANOC transferred its corporate archives to the City of Vancouver Archives after the Games and the parties agreed to prohibit public access to Vancouver 2010 board and committee minutes, financial records and legal correspondence until the fall of 2025.

The red pin is where Taleeb Normoohamed bought a condo in late 2009, on the day he sold one near Rogers Arena. (Google maps)

After the Games, Noormohamed was vice-president of global development for vacation rental company HomeAway from 2012 to 2015. Expedia acquired HomeAway and merged it last year with VRBO, the main competitor of Airbnb.

The spreadsheet shows Noormohamed made $4.922 million in gross profits on 46 residential transactions since 2002 — nearly $3.7 million of that came in the last six years.

He bought and sold 21 properties in the space of a single year and currently holds five properties, including one worth $2.2 million in the Altamont neighbourhood of West Vancouver near the home of John Weston, the former Harper Conservative MP who is attempting a comeback.

None of Noormohamed’s five properties is in Vancouver Granville. 

Peter Julian, who was the NDP house leader until the election, called Trudeau’s promised anti-flipping tax “empty” because the Liberals did nothing to crack down on speculators or control prices since coming to power in 2015.

“Was [Trudeau] aware of [Noormohamed’s] house-flipping when he signed his candidate’s nomination papers and is he OK with that fact that this candidate for parliament has made millions of dollars by flipping dozens of houses?” Julian asked during an Aug. 30 news conference outside one of the condos Noormohamed flipped.

Anjali Appadurai, the NDP candidate in Vancouver Granville, said what Noormohamed did “may be legal, but it is predatory and it shouldn’t be legal.”

Election day is Sept. 20.

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