The Harbor View Hotel, a popular Edgartown destination for Vineyard weddings and visitors, is under new ownership.
Upland Capital Corp., founded by Bernard Chiu, purchased the 127-year-old hotel, and plans to renovate it, keeping the hotel’s historic look. Scout Hotel and Resort Management has been retained to manage the facility, a spokeswoman confirmed.
“I can’t say enough about how excited we are,” Tony Natale, the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Upland Capital, told The Times. “We worked hard to get to the finish line.”
Mr. Chiu, who owns property on both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, has more recently lived in Edgartown, Mr. Natale said. “This opportunity presented itself recently,” he said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind property.”
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Mr. Chiu owns other rental properties on both islands, Mr. Natale said.
Mr. Chiu is known in and around Edgartown, Mr. Natale said. “He’s an insider looking to make it better for the community in Edgartown,” he said. “The future is very bright. It’s limitless … He’s looking to give Harbor View the TLC it deserves.”
In a conversation with The Times, Mr. Chiu said he’s had his eye on the Harbor View for some time, having been a frequent guest over 25 years. “This is a great property,” he said. “I’m so excited to be a part of it.”
Upland Capital’s main business is real estate management, particularly retail and office space. This is the company’s first foray into the hospitality industry, he said.
“When I found out that the property was on the market this summer, I jumped right in,” Mr. Chiu said. “It’s a great property. Iconic. Irreplaceable.”
He’s also come to love the Vineyard as a place to spend time. “It’s a beautiful Island. There’s so much to offer. Beautiful scenery, wonderful restaurants, great people,” he said. “I love everything about it.”
Upland Capital is developing plans to renovate Harbor View Hotel, starting late fall 2018. The initiative will preserve the hotel’s classic Island style while improving guest accommodations and public spaces, according to a press release.
Mr. Natale said until plans go before local boards, he’s not at liberty to discuss the specifics, but the idea is to enhance the experience for people using the hotel for functions and for guests who stay at Harbor View.
“From the outsider looking in, there won’t be any changes to the look,” he said. “It’s more about the guest experience.”
Mr. Chiu said the bulk of the work will be inside improving the ballroom, meeting spaces, restaurants, and guest rooms.
“It needs some love and care,” he said. “It’s what I intend to do.”
Some of the nearby captain’s cottages are owned by individuals, but the properties can be rented out through the hotel.
The hotel was named one of the Best Hotels in New England in 2016 by Condé Nast Traveler’s annual readers’ choice awards, and is a member of Historic Hotels of America. It is home to the Lighthouse Grill and Henry’s Hotel Bar.
The previous owner, according to town records, is Scout Harbor View Property LLC. The previous sale price was $31 million in 2006, according to town records. The assessed value of the property is $24.2 million, according to assessors’ records.
“This will be a long-term investment,” Mr. Chiu said. “I’m looking forward to bringing it back to its past glory.”