Navigator rebuild includes off-site club
As part of a plan to overhaul the Navigator restaurant on the Edgartown harborfront, a group of investors has proposed an off-site members-only recreational club in Katama.
Project leaders have filed an application with the Edgartown zoning board of appeals to build the recreational facility on seven acres of land at the former Grant Brothers sand pit. The club, dubbed The Field Club, would be located within an already permitted 32-lot subdivision, and would include a fitness building, a pool, several courts for tennis, squash and paddle tennis, and a pond.
Project principals said that the plans would be referred to the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) as a development of regional impact (DRI).
Plans to renovate the Navigator restaurant include harborfront improvements with more public access.
Gerrett Conover and Tom LeClair, partners in LandVest of Edgartown, are principals for the project. This week, they said that The Field Club would be used to generate the revenue needed to renovate the Navigator restaurant to include retail and restaurant space on the first floor, and private club and function space on the second floor. Both men stressed that one of their major goals is to help revitalize downtown Edgartown business.
They said their plan started with the $3.5 million purchase of the Navigator. "With the Navigator, which is the only commercial building on the waterfront, we really saw it is a critical piece to the downtown economic viability of Edgartown," said Mr. LeClair. "We feel that it should be a gateway to the town."
Fred Mascolo, co-president of the Edgartown Board of Trade, agreed. He said that the Navigator renovations will be a benefit to the business community. "I think it is a great addition to the town," he said. "It is revitalizing probably the most important location in the town. That is really the gateway to Edgartown from the harbor, and I think it is going to turn it into something that everyone in the town will be proud to have in the business community."
The Field Club would be located within a 32-lot subdivision and would include a fitness building, a pool, several courts for tennis, squash and paddle tennis, and a pond.
Plans for the Navigator, which the town historic district commission, the conservation commission, and the planning board have approved, call for improvements both in and around the building. According to the plans, the building would be moved back, away from the harbor to create a pedestrian walkway along the water. The existing floating piers would be moved and a fixed pier would be built in their place.
The exterior of the building will get a major facelift. The handicap access walkway will be moved to the interior of the building, and the sidewalk would be expanded to include trees and classic Edgartown streetlights.
Inside, the restaurant will be renovated and retail space will be added. The second floor, which Mr. LeClair and Mr. Conover said has been largely underutilized, will be used for The Field Club and as a function area.
Mr. Conover said that originally they had never planned on creating a club and another off-site facility. "The club is really a means to an end," he said.
He said that in order to finance the renovations at the restaurant and maintain its economic viability, they needed additional revenue sources. "That's when we began looking at this idea of a recreational club," he said.
Mr. Conover and Mr. LeClair said that they have not yet determined how many memberships they would sell or how much they would cost. "Things are still evolving, and we haven't gotten to that point yet," said Mr. LeClair.
The men said that their first step was to identify a place for a recreational club. They said that the subdivision at the former Grant Brothers sand pit was an ideal location.
B.A.D.D. Company LLC, owns the site. The company includes Peter Bettencourt, who operates a landscaping business; Alex Alexander and Tim Dyke of Alexander & Dyke Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Co.; and Michael Donaroma, Edgartown selectman and owner of Donaroma's Nursery and Landscaping.
Mr. Conover and Mr. LeClair said that they approached the owners with their idea of the private recreational facility, and struck a deal to buy the interior seven acres of the subdivision, contingent upon obtaining all the required permits. They hope to go before the MVC this spring to present their plans. In the meantime, they will begin work on the Navigator reconstruction as soon as the final state permits are issued.
Mr. Connover said that he would like to begin work on the restaurant this spring, but said it may be put off until the fall. "We're looking at a number of months for the state waterways permits," he said. "Optimistically, we would like to start in April, but if we have to wait, we will probably just open the restaurant and operate it basically as it has been in the past and put off work until September."