By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
July 6, 2012
For $1.5 billion, you would think the London Olympic Committee could build a pretty luxurious Olympic Village. Instead, the Olympics’ on-site housing for athletes resembles college dorms more than Ritz Carltons. Only a handful of the units have private bathrooms, and even fewer have access to a balcony. None have kitchens, but the actual complex has a 24-hour cafeteria seating 5,000. Apparently, the accommodations don’t bother IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge, who will spend as many nights as he can in the Athlete’s Village. The complex, which includes 2.7 million square feet of living space, will house up to 16,000 athletes and officials from more than 200 countries.
If the living quarters are less lavish than expected, it’s for good reason. After the Games, the Village will become public housing for East London. It will be transformed into 2,818 new homes, including 1,379 affordable homes.