The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission has purchased 32 acres known as Red Gate Farm in Aquinnah for $10 million from the family of Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg, according to a Facebook post Wednesday.
The purchase is the second phase of a two-phase purchase to preserve the large swath of undeveloped land, according to the post.
In December, the Land Bank joined with Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation on a $27 million purchase of 303.9 acres of land from the family. The land was previously owned by Caroline Kennedy’s mother, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
That brings the total purchase price of the property to $37 million, which is well below the $65 million asking price when the property was put on the market in 2019. When the property was listed, a press release quoted Caroline Kennedy as saying her mother immediately fell in love with Red Gate Farm 40 years ago, and that it was “a perfect expression of her romantic and adventurous spirit.”
The Land Bank, which refers to the properties as the Squibnocket Pond Reservation, is in the process of drafting a management plan for the property.
“It really is astonishing,” James Lengyel, executive director of the Land Bank, said of the property. “The land itself is unique. It’s just so lovely.”
The Kennedy-Schlossberg family will retain about 60 acres around the family’s house site, Lengyel said. The rest of the acreage will have public access through a management plan. Lengyel said he’s hopeful that the plan will go through the necessary approvals — Land Bank advisory board, Land Bank commission, and the state — in time for the public to begin exploring the “sensational landscape” next summer.
“2020 was a great year for conservation on the Vineyard,” he said, noting the first purchase made along with Sheriff’s Meadow, as well as the James Pond Preserve. “We have a lot in the hopper.”