Edgartown, MA– While most market areas are currently experiencing contraction and increasing distress, commercial property fundamentals in the small Down Island business district in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, MA appear to be as favorable as the refreshing summer winds from nearby Edgartown Harbor.
The sale of three retail condominium units acquired in early June 2009 provides some sense of the prevailing winds.
The three units are located at 4 & 8 Main Street within the Harborside Inn Condominium. The condominium is located on (Lower) Main Street, between North Water and Dock Streets and next to The Boathouse, a recently completed 10,000 square foot private club at the site of the former Navigator Restaurant.
The location is the busy hub of the established Edgartown business district, an area which generates consistent pedestrian traffic along the brick paved sidewalks uniformly connecting the many mostly seasonal specialty shops and eateries. In addition to a designated Historic District, much of the neighborhood is within Edgartown’s B-1; Business 1 zoning district.
The ground floor commercial units known as Stores A, B & C feature generous display windows and range from 702 to 1,508 square feet and total 2,864 square feet. The recent $2.4 million total sale price amounts to approximately $838 per square foot of gross unit area or an average of $800,000 per unit. The purchasers were a local couple with several commercial property holdings in the Edgartown core business district.
At the time of the sale the units were reported to be fully leased to Chappy’s and Island Pursuit, two affiliated mens and womens clothing shops. Island Pursuit was established in 1983 and offers a wide assortment of luxury brands including Bugatchi Uomo, LaCoste, Lilly Pulitzer, Reef, Tommy Bahama, and Vineyard Vines. In addition to four Florida stores, the retailer has stores in Chatham, MA, Newport, RI and Nantucket, MA.
This recent conveyance is one of only a handful of mostly off-market commercial property transactions recorded in Edgartown over the past 18 months. According to several local sources, the low transaction activity is primarily a function of the buy and hold mindset of many local investors resulting in a limited array of available investment opportunities.
Despite rental rates in the general range of $35.00 to $70.00 per square foot for retail space in the prime pedestrian areas, vacancies are minimal especially by late Spring or just before at the start of the peak summer season. Most rental requirements are in the range of 700 to 1,500 square feet of net rentable area. Reflective of both the tight supply and the close network of local merchants, it is not uncommon for landlords to receive inquires from prospective tenants either before a tenant moves out or when the vacating tenant is literally in the process of moving. Reportedly, new occupancies include a combination of new businesses and existing businesses desiring to trade up to superior space.