County struggles to secure tenant for Tisbury property

The county is having a tough time getting any takers for this property in Tisbury. - Rich Saltzberg

County manager Martina Thornton told the Dukes County Commissioners Wednesday that no renter has surfaced for county loft space in Tisbury. “Unfortunately we have not received any proposals for leasing space at the upstairs of the VNA building,” she said.

She asked the commissioners for permission to solicit real estate agents, and put forth the idea of changing the asking price of about $40,000 per year, or $25 per square foot, to a lower amount. She said the space went on offer in the fall, and was first advertised in December.

Commissioner Tristain Israel said he thought it was too early to change the lease terms, and advocated for remaining patient. Commissioner Leon Brathwaite questioned why a real estate agent would want the job.

“We can’t pay a commission, so why would they get involved?” he asked.

Commissioners discussed why a potential tenant couldn’t pay a finder’s fee to the real estate agent. Mr. Israel asked what the difference was between paying for a real estate agent for an appraisal, which the commission has done, and paying a commission fee to the same type of agent.

In the end, the commissioners opted to empower Ms. Thornton to consult with real estate agents, to speak with parties who might be interested in renting the space at less than asking price, and to report back to them in February

In other business, the commissioners elected John Alley as their new chairman and re-elected Gretchen Underwood as vice chairman.


  1. I take issue with Commissioner Leon Brathwaite. I do not take any property listings and do not handle rentals but I have helped many friends and businesses by at least directing them in the right direction and giving advice when available. What would be the big deal of a real estate broker sending out an email blast to commercial and business mailing list contacts.

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