A group of local and Island residents and dignitaries gathered Thursday afternoon to mark the completion of nine affordable apartments in West Tisbury, a development called Scott’s Grove. The project was a collaboration between Island Housing Trust, Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, and the town of West Tisbury affordable housing committee. Partial funding came from West Tisbury’s Community Preservation committee.
The name of the project, Scott’s Grove, is a posthumous recognition of Susan W. Scott, who lived in the antique Cape across the Edgartown–West Tisbury Road from Fire Station 1. She left her property, spanning both sides of the road, to the town when she died in 1951. It has since been used for the fire house and adjoining baseball field. The Scott’s Grove apartments have been built on the remainder, formerly a wooded area that stretched from the road back to the State Forest.
Speakers included Philippe Jordi, founding director of Island Housing Trust, David Vigneault, executive director of Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, Michael Colaneri, a member of the West Tisbury Affordable Housing Committee, Bea Phear, a member of the West Tisbury Community Preservation Committee, and Darrill Bazzy, IHT project director. Phear was handed a pair of oversize scissors, and she cut the ceremonial green ribbon to loud applause.
All attending were given an opportunity to tour the apartments. There are three configurations, three each of one-, two-, and three-bedroom models. They are roomy and bright, with big casement windows looking out on the wooded site. The floors downstairs are concrete. The kitchens are outfitted with lots of light maple Shaker-style cabinets with dark countertops and backsplashes, and white electric appliances. Each apartment has its own laundry room and an outdoor storage closet for bikes or lawn chairs. The three-bedroom apartments have a carpeted master bedroom and a bathroom upstairs. The apartments are connected by wide wooden decks and gravel paths. Stewartia trees and inkberry bushes form the bones of a landscape plan designed with native plantings.
The designers worked with Cape Light Compact to make each unit energy-efficient; heat pumps and constant air ventilation systems will heat and cool the units while providing fresh air in the tightly insulated apartments. One of each size unit is handicapped-accessible.
Members of the West Tisbury Affordable Housing Committee are Larry Shubert, who is the chairman, Michael Colaneri, Angela Prout, Jefrey Dubard, Rise Terney, Ted Jochsberger, and Susan Feller. Rhonda Conley is their administrative assistant.
The West Tisbury Community Preservation Committee provided $1.4 million toward building Scott’s Grove.
In his speech, Bazzy said he was committed to “making a good building, rather than a fancy building. These will be here in a hundred years.” These apartments appear to be all that, attractive and well-built. They will provide comfortable homes for individuals and families for at least those hundred years to come.