Groundbreaking ceremony today on Lake Street in Vineyard Haven

Participants in the Wentworth Way groundbreaking ceremony on Lake Street in Vineyard Haven included, form left, Wayne Johnson, Tim Williams, Laura Barbara, Abbe Burt, Andrew Berry, Philippe Jordi, Richard Leonard, Jeff Kristal, Tristan Israel, Fielding Moore, Rob Doyle, Geoghan Coogan, and Nell Coogan. — Photo by Randi Baird

The Island Housing Trust (IHT) will host a groundbreaking ceremony today, October 20, at 5 pm for the construction of four townhouses on Lake Street in Vineyard Haven.

Look for signs posted on Lake Street for directions to the groundbreaking location and parking.

“This a moment to thank the town of Tisbury for all the work that went into planning, permitting, and fundraising to make this project of energy-efficient, green, affordable homes possible,” IHT executive director Philippe Jordi said in a press release.

The Wentworth Way project is a public/private partnership, according to Mr. Jordi. The Tisbury Affordable Housing Committee secured a “friendly” 40B comprehensive permit to build six townhouses in three duplex buildings from the Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals and the state Department of Housing and Community Development. The nonprofit IHT then purchased a 1.38-acre parcel of land for the project from Tisbury in March 2009 for $14,700, which covered costs the town had spent on permitting and surveying.

Two duplexes with four townhouses will be built during the first phase of construction. Those will be sold next spring, with the land ground-leased, to income-qualified households earning 80 percent and 100 percent of the average median income (AMI) for $184,500 and $225,000, respectively. Resale will be restricted.

The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority is accepting applications for the townhouses now through December 2. Applications are available at the Vineyard Housing Office at 346 State Road and online from IHT at

The $1.2 million Wentworth Way project’s first phase of construction will be funded in part with $380,000 from Tisbury Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. IHT plans to request an additional $200,000 in CPA funds for the second phase. Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank provided predevelopment financing and the Edgartown National Bank construction financing.

MacNelly Cohen Architects of West Tisbury and LDa Architects of Cambridge designed the townhouses. William Building Company of West Yarmouth will build them to meet IHT’s high performance building standards, EnergyStar Plus.