Milestone reached in Navigator Homes project 

A street-side view rendering of what Navigator Homes will look like. —LWDA, Inc.

Updated, Jan. 16

Navigator Homes and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital announced that they recently closed a real estate transaction, making a ‘monumental milestone’ as part of the assisted living facility and workforce housing project.

The transaction, finalized on Jan. 9, puts a portion of property at 490 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Edgartown under Navigator’s ownership. It also allows for the release of $53 million U.S. Department of Agriculture funds towards the Navigator project. 

The project aims to build five homes with 66 skilled nursing beds following a “Green House” model, a name that reflects an initiative to create housing that evokes growth and community. A mix of 48 units of workforce housing is also planned.

Navigator Homes is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025. The project passed the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in November 2022 and will replace the current Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Site work began in May of 2023 and construction has been ongoing.

In a press release, David McDonough, president and CEO of Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard, reflected on the closing of this new deal: “This is such an exceptional moment for our island seniors,” he said. “We’re thrilled with the relationship we’ve had with Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to get to this point and are excited about the next steps toward bringing a sustainable model for nursing home care.”

President of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Denise Schepici is quoted: “This is a monumental milestone for island seniors who deserve a place that allows them to age in a place they love and call their home — Martha’s Vineyard — and to receive outstanding healthcare […] We applaud Navigator for their perseverance in making this day happen and for making our shared vision a reality.”

As part of the project, a portion of the land will be maintained as conservation property under the management of Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, an Island nonprofit. 

Hospital officials say that the project comes at a critical time with numerous positions unfilled because employees cannot afford to live on the Island. 

“This is such a critical need for our hospital to continue delivering the services our community depends on us to deliver. We’re looking forward to completing this project and will keep the public posted on our progress,” Schepici said.  

According to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s 2023 Martha’s Vineyard Statistical Profile report, the older adult population on Martha’s Vineyard is on a rise, projecting the population of residents over the age of 60 to exceed 8,000 by the year 2030, making up nearly 39 percent of the county’s overall population.

This article was updated to reflect the accurate number of skilled nursing beds planned.