An investor’s plans for an Edgartown property have riled up some residents in town who fear they could lose a view of Edgartown Harbor.
Goldeneye LLC purchased 81 South Water St. in January for $15 million. Investor David Malm is the manager of Goldeneye, which owns multiple properties on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
According to the Edgartown Historic District Commission’s documents, the plans for the property include the removal of staff quarters, relocating the garage and guesthouse, partially removing a porch, adding a new screened-in porch, lifting and rotating the house, and building a retaining wall and pool.
In response to the proposed plans, some neighbors of 81 South Water St. have voiced their opposition to the development. That includes letters to The Martha’s Vineyard Times asking for the view of Edgartown Harbor to be protected and advocating for people to oppose the project.
The group, dubbed the Concerned Neighbors for the Preservation of Historic Edgartown Harbor Front, also took out a full-page newspaper ad to make their case, and to gain supporters for their cause.
The two individuals who were called out were architect Patrick Ahearn and investor David Malm, who was listed as the manager of Goldeneye in the mortgage.
Neither Ahearn nor Malm were immediately available for comment.
The Wall Street Journal recently reports that Malm has acquired multiple properties on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which are collectively worth nearly $100 million
Lucy Dahl, who has lived across from the property for 45 years, said hundreds of Islanders and visitors have stood in front of the house to “take in the view” of the harbor. The proposed change would impact a historic point in Edgartown, according to Dahl. She said this was, to her, equivalent to building a skyscraper in front of Edgartown Lighthouse.
“We are trying to make such a noise about this that it can’t be approved,” Dahl said, adding that she has not met a single person who approves of the proposed plans.
John Brittain, who has lived near the property for 50 years, and is acting as spokesperson for the opposition, listed several concerns with the plans, including the proposed size of the building. He said that it “far exceeds” the houses in the area; he’s also concerned about the enlarged easterly side blocking the harbor view, and that the architectural integrity of the old house will vanish. From the harborfront side, he said, this would be a Hamptons-size house with a “resort-level pool” with a retaining wall to support it.
According to the plans, removal of a 2001 addition to the property and a 1951 wood deck would remove 1,075 square feet from the property. However, a proposal of a flat roof connector and an addition to the main house would add 1,826 square feet to the property, which increases the total square footage of the building by 751 square feet.
“The big thing from our perspective … it basically violates the guidelines of all of the historic commission,” Brittain said.
He also contends that the developers have done no outreach to the neighbors.
Brittain told The Times there are nearly 30 individuals against the proposed project. The goal is to make sure the redevelopment follows historic district guidelines, and to protect one of the “last vistas on South Water Street.”
The commission will be holding a public hearing regarding the property on Thursday, May 18.
Until then, opponents of the project plan to continue an awareness campaign by putting up signs and encouraging people to attend the hearing, or to send letters to the commission.
“We plan to start a revolution,” Dahl said.