By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Another slice of Oshawa’s waterfront could be scooped up for residential development.
The historic piece of lakefront property has been a question mark for years. West of Park Road South and south of Renaissance Drive, the privately-owned slice of open space known as the Maurac Lands to city officials has been vacant for decades.
Now, it appears to be on the open market.
According to Paul Ralph, the city’s commissioner of development services, the lands have been earmarked for years as “urban reserve” under the city’s official plan.
However, up until now, the lands have been owned by a private entity which, according to Ralph, is an estate based in the British Guernsey Islands.
“I’ve been waiting for 30 years for somebody to act,” Ralph says.
“It’s taken this long for them to finally put it on the market.”
Land registry records show that Maurac Investment Company Limited purchased the nearly 26 acres in February 1967 for $67,000. It was quickly sold to Maurice Zajac in May 1967 for $92,500. Zajac would remain the owner until 2003, when the land was transferred to Ruth O’Neill for $0. Then again, in January of this year, the land would be transferred, at no cost, back to the Maurac Investment Company.
Around the perimeter of the property, signs for KRCMAR Surveyors Ltd can be found. When contacted by The Oshawa Express, the company denied to comment on who they were completing the work for.
“Due to client confidentiality, I am unauthorized to release any details of the project,” Jenna Candido, strategic assistant at KRCMAR, tells The Oshawa Express in an emailed statement.
According to its website, the Thornhill-based company identifies itself as experts in condo and urban development and municipal infrastructure surveys.
The fight over the land dates back decades when development first began around the area in 1978.
Decades later in 2005, Durham Custom Homes attempted to purchase the Maurac lands from the owner while developing the subdivision currently under construction south of Renaissance Drive.
“Durham Homes has been attempting to negotiate with Maurac to either sell its land, joint venture to develop the two properties or to cooperate with simultaneous development applications. All such efforts have been unsuccessful,” a city report from 2006 reads.
When contacted for comment, Durham Custom Homes would not confirm whether the company was, once again, looking into purchasing the property.
Following any sale of the property, any proposed development would be submitted to the city for rezoning and any development application would eventually be put to a public meeting.