By Mike Anderson
The remaining Bonnie Boats Marina property, located at 20 Bonnie Blvd. in Jackson’s Point, is listed for sale for $7,500,000.
While the Town has expressed an interest in redeveloping the Jackson’s Point Harbour, which could include a public boat launch along with other amenities, it has confirmed that it is not considering an offer on the property at this time.
According to a spokesperson, the Town will only consider any potential purchase of lands after Phase 3 of the Waterfront Parks Master Plan is completed, which is expected by the end of the year.
“Phase 3 is intended to summarize the findings of Phase 1 and Phase 2 and provide recommendations on the potential for any purchase and sale of lands related to the implementation of various options presented in Phase 1 and 2,” said Tanya Thompson, manager of communications, in an email to The Post.
“Council will consider Staff Reports related to the implementation of the Waterfront Parks Master Plan during future budget deliberations.”
While the purchase of the property might make it easier to upgrade and possibly reconfigure the harbour, Thompson says the purchase is not necessarily needed.
“The Waterfront Parks Master Plan includes options for the Town owned lands at the Jackson’s Point Harbour that can be implemented entirely on Town owned lands,” she said.
However, Thompson did acknowledge that any future buyer of the property is free to develop the lands in a manner which may not be compatible with the Town’s plans for the harbour.
“The current or future owner could proceed with a development proposal in accordance with the current Tourist Commercial (C5) zoning or could proceed with another development proposal, that is not permitted under the current zoning, pursuant to the provisions of the Sutton and Jackson’s Point Secondary Plan,” she added.
Ward 4 Councillor Frank Sebo who has been advocating for improvements for the harbour for years, agrees that a purchase would help the Town with its plans. However, he is balking at the price tag.
“In a perfect world, it would be great if the town could acquire the remainder of the Bonnie Boats Marina lands,” said Sebo in an email to The Post.
“Its acquisition would provide the town with the opportunity to add much needed parking, increase public access, add amenities, and expand the harbour. It would certainly open up the realm of possibilities. But, not for 7.5 million dollars! The Town and its taxpayers don’t have bottomless pockets.”
Sebo says the town should continue to be open to working with the current or future owners, as a revamp and expansion of the harbour is much needed.
“I believe a happy medium could be reached that would allow for some sort of development on the site, while at the same time facilitating the renewal of town infrastructure in the area and enhancements to the public domain at a substantially reduced cost to taxpayers,” he said.
“Jackson’s Point Harbour is an area where, in my view, some limited, well planned tourism/boating related development does make sense.”
The current owner of 20 Bonnie Blvd. is MSR Lalu Jackson’s Point Inc.
According to a corporate report, the current directors are Cheng Ming (President) and Lei Guo (Secretary/Treasurer).
Both men are also directors of the Unexus Group, formerly know as Lalu Group, a real estate investment company that shares the same corporate offices with MSR Lalu Jackson’s Point Inc.
In early 2020, Unexus Group tried to market a 3-storey luxury waterfront hotel on the site of 20 Bonnie Blvd., without obtaining “re-zoning” approvals from the Town.
The company was forced to remove renderings of the hotel from its website after being contacted by the Town.
This was not the first time the company had tired to market its projects for Jackson’s Point Harbour.
In November 2017, MSR Lalu posted a six-storey condo design, located on Bonnie Park, on its website — again, without the necessary town approvals.
This followed unauthorized sample drilling conducted by the developer on the adjacent Bonnie Park property in the spring of 2017.
At the time, Mayor Margaret Quirk expressed her frustration with MSR Lalu’s missteps.
“When I see the distress this causes our residents and the distrust that it creates towards ourselves here on council, to the staff and to the consultants, it really makes me upset,” she said in council.
“Because we all value our reputations and to have the actions of a developer call into question our honesty, our integrity and our reputation really upsets me.”
Sunny Matharoo, then representing MSR Lalu, made a formal apology for the on-line renderings and unauthorized drilling to Georgina Council on November 22, 2017.
Recent media reports, including from Global News and the New York Times, have alleged that Unexus Group, which controls MSR Lalu Jackson’s Point Inc., was part of complicated scheme to launder money from Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua, who had close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping.
Xiao, whose whereabouts are unknown, was kidnapped in Hong Kong five years ago. However, Fan Yanfeng, his brother-in-law, is currently listed as a director for Unexus Group.
The Post asked the RCMP if it was conducing an investigation into Unexus Group and allegations of money laundering. However, a RCMP spokesperson confirmed that an investigation has not been initiated.
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