Real Estate Confidential is a weekly chitchat about new listings, sales, or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market, by Fred Roven, Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents. It appears each Friday in The Minute.
If you had to guess, would you know this property? It was purchased as a writing retreat in 1952 after the land saw only sheep grazing, used for some time as a club for duck hunting, was transferred in 1992 for about $12 million, and to this day contains only a main house, guest house and several cabins. It was offered several years ago as an opportunity to own 314 acres of oceanfront for $118M. This very special tract of land is now available in smaller parcels for the rest of us to consider when we want privacy and ocean.
If you do not want privacy and seclusion, the lots at South Shore Estates are not for you. If the concept of winding, scenic dirt roads is not your idea for a luxury estate, South Shore Estates is not for you. If you want to be close to your neighbors and your only idea of security is a gate, these lots are not for you. If your idea of the good life includes privacy with ocean views that go on forever with the opportunity to create your own oasism including 1200 ‘ of beachfront with proximity to the airport — ensuring quick access, and the active lifestyle of Edgartown just minutes away, South Shore Estates will be perfect.
The properties at South Shore Estates, encompassing a 35-acre brackish pond, are truly a unique, one-time opportunity to own a treasure. The Conservation Partnership Of Martha’s Vineyard explains: “Coastal salt ponds are rare, treasured habitats restricted to the shores of southern New England. The coastal salt ponds in West Tisbury provide 10,000 bushels of oysters — over 1/2 of Martha’s Vineyard’s annual harvest — are home to rare species, and are relatively unspoiled ecosystems. More than 100 native plants line the shores of these ponds. River Otter still frolic in the ponds’ waters. Over thirty species of fish live in the ponds and streams, with many more historically recorded. In the West Tisbury watersheds, farming is still a strong tradition, and rare habitats like Scrub Oak shrublands, sandplain grasslands, and coastal heathlands can still be found.”
In addition to the 1200’ of beachfront, The Trustees of Reservations owns another 1700’ abutting Long Point Preserve, which provides additional protected views, and another 633 acres of privacy. Through the generosity of the owner/writer referenced previously, those 1700’ of oceanfront will be protected forever and provide a nesting ground for a variety of shore birds. The property’s size and seclusion are a rare find.
Regardless of what type of water view or waterfront experience you are looking for, South Shore estates has an option just for you. My personal favorite is the Beach House Lot. At present there is a one-bedroom beach house with direct ocean views, pond views along the south shore across to Squibnocket cliffs and comprising 30 acres, plenty of room to build in the future. All of this within walking distance to the beach and rights to 141 acres of conservation land. Based on the energy he exhibited on the walk to the beach, this was definitely Nico’s favorite also.
If a buyer came to me and wanted the best that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer in terms of ocean views and privacy, the Ocean Lot on 20 acres and priced at $18M would be at the top of my list. No other lot provides the views across a coastal salt pond, with the protection of a barrier beach out to the ocean and beyond. There are building sites for a house and guest house, direct walking access to the beach and waterfront access to the 35 acres of Big Homer’s Pond shared with one other abutter.
For those buyers who want to move in and enjoy all that oceanfront living has to offer without waiting to build, the 25.8 acre Residence Lot priced at $14,750,000 would be the best choice. The home was designed by Gary Graham of GMI Architects in 1985 to highlight the home’s proximity to the beach with 180° views of Little Homer’s Pond and the white sand beach. The 5,600 SF home includes a salt-water swimming pool, Har-Tru tennis court, and hot tub, plus a media room, exercise room and plenty of room to build a future guest house. And, of course, five fireplaces and a 12,000 bottle wine cellar.
The 18.5 acre Hadley Lot priced at $5,750,000 will provide the owner with a different experience. You will still have the spectacular ocean views and will be on a peninsula extending into Homer’s Pond providing pond access on three sides and direct kayak access to the beach. Personally I would renovate the 700 SF structure at the water’s edge and spend my days lolling by the pond, kayaking the pond and maybe even stopping at the beach for an ocean swim before paddling back to my little bit of paradise. Feel free to expand this cottage and/or build the waterview home of your dreams.
If you would prefer a building lot set back from the water while still retaining access and partial views, South Shore Estates offers 6 building lots ranging in size from 3.4 acres to 22.7 acres and priced from $3.0M to $3.5M. You will be permitted to construct a house, guest house and pool and have access to the 1200’ of beach and 141 acres of conservation land.
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