Navigator Homes and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reached a milestone in an Edgartown project that will provide skilled nursing for seniors and workforce housing for employees.
The two parties on Jan. 9 finalized a real estate transaction, according to Dukes County Registry of Deeds. Navigator Homes President and CEO David McDonough said the closing represented “two extremely important milestones”: transferring part of 490 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Edgartown to Navigator Homes and also the release of $53 million of U. S. Department of Agriculture funds.
“The combination of the land and the money to build the project is what allows us to move forward with the project,” said McDonough. “At this point, we are now ready to move forward with construction, which should be underway in the next several weeks.”
The nonprofit hospital is in Oak Bluffs, and is the sole hospital on the island.
The project comes as the hospital says it is struggling to fill open positions due to a lack of housing and soaring prices.
The UMass Donahue Institute estimates that Dukes County’s older population — 65 and up — will increase in coming years, peaking at around 7,064 in 2035 before dipping to about 5,954 in 2050 in a report compiled by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
What is the ‘Green House’ model planned?
The project will include 66 skilled nursing beds in five homes clustered around an outdoor garden following a “Green House” model of elder care and a mix of 48 workforce housing units in two apartment buildings, one townhouse, and four duplexes.
The Green House model aims to be an alternative to traditional nursing homes where multiple residents live in one room. In this project, each of the five buildings is self-contained with its own kitchen, dining common, living area, and outdoor spaces as well as 24/7 nursing care.
Rents will be subsidized and 85% of the housing will target staff earning less than 120% of the area median income. Sixty-five percent of staff fall into that category, according to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard, a nonprofit, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.
The project will replace the current Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility, the 61-bed skilled nursing facility in Oak Bluffs. Both the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and the town Board of Health have supported the plan.
Building permit issued
Navigator recently was issued a building permit by the Edgartown Building Department, according to a statement from the hospital. Site work began in May 2023 and construction is ongoing and currently in the site preparation phase, said McDonough.
The total project site is 28 acres, said McDonough, with Navigator Homes building on five acres and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital building on another five. The remaining 18 acres will be maintained as a conservation property under the management of Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, a land trust for Martha’s Vineyard.
McDonough said the team is also excited to work with Hebrew SeniorLife, the Boston senior living organization that will serve as the property manager.
“They are a completely talented group,” McDonough said.
Hebrew SeniorLife’s close affiliation with Harvard Medical School will allow the operations of the new nursing facility to benefit from the leading edge discoveries of the school and its geriatric department thereby offering best in class for island seniors, said McDonough.
Courtesy of Cape Cod Times
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