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Pair of takers interested in building marina at the Oshawa Harbour

More info, next steps to come back following summer recess

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Boaters rejoice, a pair of marine operators have responded to the city and are interested in making a marina at the Oshawa Harbour a reality.

In response to a request for expressions of interest (RFEOI) issued earlier this year, city staff received two responses from parties who would be interested in developing and operating a future marina.

The plan, which includes a full-service marina and public boat launch, is part of Oshawa’s commitments to the federal government to develop the lands after taking the land back in 2014.

The first response came from Blockhouse Bay Management Company, which also operates the Toronto Island Marina, Hanlan’s Point Sea Wall and the Island Yacht Club.

In operation since 2003, the company “has considerable experience in redeveloping and operating marina facilities,” it says in its response letter.

However, with extensive experience, the company admits it currently does not have the funds to finance the Oshawa project, which it anticipates to take three to five years.

“If the city identifies a company that is interested in developing waterfront land which could include the marina, we would be interested in partnering in the development.”

Blockhouse says it is fully capable of managing the marina development, inclusive of dredging, dock building, electrical and plumbing installation if it gets the proper financing.

The second request was received in May from John Mackey, the operator of the full-service marina in Port Perry for the past 32 years.

The company’s proposal envisions a marina complete with slips outside and indoor storage, service and repair, restrooms, laundry facilities, a snack bar, cafe or restaurant, public boat launch, fuel sales and boating store.

The proposal also anticipates using the former Yacht Club building and would see 100 slips available in its opening year and further added as the capacity required over a five- to 10-year timeframe.

“Since the marina’s closure in 2002, and as an Oshawa boy, I have followed with interest any opportunity to see and be part of the reopening of the marina,” Mackey writes.

At the most recent meeting of the development services committee, Councillor Doug Sanders questioned the possibility of the two proposals working together.

Paul Ralph, the city’s commissioner of development services, explained that over the summer months, prior to a second report coming back in September, staff will be considering both options.

“Hopefully come the end of the summer, we’ll have another report from staff that will have some even better news,” said Councillor Bob Chapman.

In connection with the marina and harbour lands development, the city recently learned of its approval for a pair of grants from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) under its Green Municipal Fund.

The first, approved for Oshawa West Wharf and Southeast Corner Brownfield Site assessment, is for $169,000 and the second, under the same program, for $134,000 for the site assessment and risk management study for the former marine lands’ brownfield site.