Edgartown signs off on Boys and Girls Club deal

The proposed Boys and Girls Club will be located in lot A. The town will purchase lots B and D. Lot C will be retained by the Norton family. — Courtesy Edgartown town administ

The Edgartown select board put the final approving touches on a complex land deal with Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club as part of the club’s expansion.

The town will purchase portions of the Philip (“Jeff”) Norton Jr. family property for $636,467.50, which was approved at the 2020 annual town meeting and at the 2020 town election, per a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club is set to close on the Norton property Friday. 

The deal stretches back to 2019, when the club signed a purchase and sale agreement with the Norton family for 21 acres off Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road for $2.8 million. The property sits between Sweetened Water Farm and town-owned land. 

The club then approached the town, which was also looking at the property, and struck a deal to benefit the club, the town, and the Norton family. Of the 21 total acres, the club would keep 14.34 acres to construct its new facility, and sell two acres (Lot D) to the town parks department and 4.6 acres (Lot B) for additional space for the town’s New Westside Cemetery. A 9.75-acre parcel, which abuts Edgartown–West Tisbury Road to the north, will be retained by the Norton family.

“It’s been kind of a complicated real estate and legal deal that’s codified in the MOU,” town administrator James Hagerty said. “This is the last step for the town.”

Select board member Michael Donaroma, who helped shepherd the deal as a member of the club’s board of directors, praised the deal, the Norton family, and the town. “It works for cemetery department expansion, it works for the parks department, it gives the Boys and Girls club for the Island a place to expand, it expands the Edgartown School campus,” Donaroma said. “This thing’s finally coming together, and I just think it’s perfect all the way around.”

Select board member Arthur Smadbeck said the club serves the entire Island. “All of the children on the Island benefit from this, and will continue to benefit from this,” Smadbeck said.