New Player In Nantucket’s Largest Housing Development

There’s a new player in Nantucket’s largest ongoing housing development off Old South Road, the 225-apartment, 94-house Richmond Great Point subdivision. 

Last month, a real estate investment company known as Nantucket Property Owner LLC paid $8.4 million for 36 lots within Richmond’s “Sandpiper” subdivision that includes single-family homes and duplexes.. 

The principals of the company are Christos Kuliopulos and Bradley Hall, of Boston-based Capital Hall Partners, along with Ed Doherty, of Kems Real Estate Development, of Lynnfield, MA. Their purchase of the Sandpiper lots is their first foray into Nantucket real estate development. 

Most of the new homes will be 2,220 to 3,500 square feet, and are being marketed starting at $2 million through a partnership with island real estate agent Bernadette Meyer, of Maury People Sotheby’s International Realty. 

As part of the acquisition from Richmond Great Point, the principals of Nantucket Property Owner LLC are assuming the responsibility of developing 10 of the 11 low- and moderate-income single-family home units that must be built in Sandpiper Place II according to the original special permit that was approved for the subdivision. Those homes will be available to individuals making 80 percent of the area median income or less.

“We’re very well capitalized and our business plan is to move in a rapid pace while still delivering the right quality,” Kuliopulos told the Current. “We’ll have shovels in the ground soon…We’ll be starting a number of the AMI (affordable) houses right from day one. We’ll move as fast as we can.”

Kuliopulos said that while he and the other principals involved in the acquisition do not have prior experience in real estate development on Nantucket, together they will bring their decades of knowledge and expertise in construction, development, real estate management and logistics to bear on the project. 

“We’re developers and builders, so we’re always looking for unique opportunities and in this case, a lot of larger builders would shy away from this because it’s building on Nantucket with a project of this size,” he said. “It’s too big for some of the other firms, and too small for others. It became a tweener opportunity for a group like us that, good or bad, sees opportunity in complicated situations. In this case, it’s solving logistics and labor challenges. We only pick opportunities because we believe in the market and the community and Nantucket. There’s clear demand.”

Phil Pastan’s Richmond Great Point Development purchased the 70 acres of land off Old South Road from Walter Glowacki in 2013 for just over $30 million. Following zoning changes approved by Town Meeting in 2015 and a special permit for the project issued by the Planning Board in 2017, the site has been completely transformed from “the pit” as it was once known. More than 500 junk cars were removed from the property, infrastructure was built out, and the initial phase (98 apartment units) have been constructed in the so-called “Meadows” area, along with the initial single-family homes in Sandpiper Place. The 98 apartment units are completely full, and Richmond has received more than 500 applications for the remaining 127 units. 

While the Planning Board required Richmond’s apartments to have a minimum lease term of one year, the homeownership units are under no restrictions with regard to short-term rentals. 

Nantucket’s municipal housing director Tucker Holland said he had not expected Richmond to sell such a significant portion of its property, but he is hopeful that having two developers with different approaches will expedite the completion of the subdivision. On average, Holland said, Nantucket Property Owner LLC paid around $233,000 for each of its new lots in the development. And while the market homes will be starting at $2 million and up, the 10 properties that will be dedicated for affordable homes will be heavily subsidized considering the construction and utility work that will be required. 

“They’ve taken on an opportunity and a liability,” Holland said. “An exciting part of having more hands working out there is that these affordable units, hopefully, will be coming online soon. It’s been 5 years and Richmond has placed a lot of focus on the rental side of things, which is a big help. On the ownership side, Habitat just had 66 applications for their three new units they’re building, so there’s demand out there at the 80 percent AMI level.”

Leslie Woodson Snell, the town’s deputy director of planning, said the new owners will be under the same conditions as Richmond Great Point with regard to the terms of the original special permit for the project. After meeting with them ahead of the sale, she said, the Planning and Land Use Services Department had no concerns with the change of ownership. The price tags for the market rate homes, starting at $ 2million, are higher than initially anticipated, but not surprising given the state of the island’s booming real estate market. 

“It does not surprise me because I’ve been watching the listing and sales of other properties on the market,” Snell said. “It’s certainly higher than we all anticipated back in 2015 and 2016 but the market has changed so much and the development all along was supposed to be a mix of market rate, moderate income and low income.”

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