Navigator Homes and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital finalize agreement on Edgartown project 

January 12, 2024

Navigator Homes and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital finalize agreement on Edgartown project 

OAK BLUFFS, MA – Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital closed a real estate transaction Tuesday, January 9, that transfers ownership of a portion of property at 490 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Edgartown to Navigator paving the way for a new model of sustainable and skilled care for the island’s elderly population. Today’s closing allows for the release of $53 million in USDA funds that can be used to build the Navigator project, which will feature 65 skilled nursing beds in five homes.

Navigator has been working diligently over the past two years to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and recently was issued a building permit by the Edgartown Building Department. Site work began in May of 2023 and construction has been ongoing on the infrastructure necessary for both the skilled nursing facility and the workforce housing.

David McDonough, President and CEO of Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard, praised Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for its collaboration and partnership. “This is such an exceptional moment for our island seniors. 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. The Navigator project follows the Green House model, which provides seniors with a shared living space that’s been demonstrated to improve their quality of life.”

Denise Schepici, President of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, said the hospital has remained committed to keeping Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center open until the new Navigator homes are built and able to take its residents. “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. Today’s agreement releases $53 million in federal money, which will be used by Navigator to build a contemporary and new model of sustainable, dignified skilled nursing system. We applaud Navigator for their perseverance in making this day happen and for making our shared vision a reality.”

The Green House model was first contemplated on the Vineyard in 2018 and in the last several years has gone through the permitting process winning approvals through the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Edgartown Planning Board, Edgartown Board of Health, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital completed the purchase of the property in 2021 from Barbara A. Norton and Philip J. Norton III.

Another exciting component of the project is a mix of 48 units of workforce housing in two apartment buildings, one town house, and four duplexes. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital will retain ownership of that portion of the property and a large swath of the land will be maintained as conservation property under the management of Sheriff’s Meadow. The housing comes at a critical time for the hospital with scores of open positions that go 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. The Workforce Housing component is being 100% funded through community leadership philanthropy to cover the $25 million cost and is critical to attract and retain great staff to work at both the Hospital and the new Nursing Home facility.

Navigator Homes of MV is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025 followed by the workforce housing.

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