Land Bank spends $8 million for Quenomica Point

Property has been eyed for years.

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission has purchased a 21-acre property at Quenomica Point in Edgartown for $8 million. — courtesy Land Bank

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission has purchased a 21-acre property at Quenomica Point in Edgartown, along the Edgartown Great Pond, for $8 million.

The property was sold to the Land Bank by owner John O’Keefe.

The property was assessed at $6.2 million, according to Edgartown assessors’ records. There is a four-bedroom, single-family house on the property that was built in 1979, according to assessor records. The building accounts for only $309,100 of the property’s value.

The address is 75 Kanomika Road, which is an alternate spelling of Quenomica. In a conversation with The Times, James Lengyel, executive director of the Land Bank, said the commission always goes with the historic name of the property, which is Quenomica.

The property owned by O’Keefe has long been in the commission’s sights, he said. “The Land Bank at its inception looked around and saw what it considered the priorities in each town to be, and this property always was a logical priority,” Lengyel said. “We communicated with the seller over the course of several decades. Long stretches would go where there wasn’t communication, but we informed the sellers that it was conservation-worthy. Mr. O’Keefe arrived at a point where he was prepared to sell, and it all came together. Which is a rather typical trajectory for the Land Bank.”

The Edgartown purchase is one of several the Land Bank has made over the past couple of years, including Red Gate Farm and James Pond Preserve in West Tisbury.

“The truth is that the Land Bank in the past 12 months has been able to contemplate properties that we would not otherwise be able to contemplate because of the circumstances of the market,” Lengyel said. “Isn’t that great for the voters of Martha’s Vineyard that this unusual circumstance happened with the real estate market, and there is one element of it that serves the conservation goals of the Island?”

The property will be closed to public access for a year while the Land Bank assesses species inventory and completes a management plan for the property. Once that draft plan is ready, a public hearing will be scheduled.

But Lengyel said the public should rest assured they will be welcomed on the land. “There will be two types of access. The first one is to put a trailhead on the property — that’s our word for a parking area. People will be able to go there, and we expect the trailhead will be staffed, to keep it very orderly,” he said. “This land is just opposite the town landing at Turkey Land Cove, and so I expect people will be putting in their canoes and kayaks at Turkey Land Cove and heading west, because there’s a beautiful crook at the beach there that’s really hospitable for landing, and I think they’ll like that very much.”

As for the house on the property, Lengyel said that it will be investigated as a possible caretaker’s lodging. “We have to investigate and see if that’s the best use,” he said.