The developers for the upscale Field Club and adjoining subdivision in Katama have agreed to pay the Edgartown affordable housing committee $1.8 million in lieu of designating three lots in their project for affordable housing as required by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
The project was approved as a development of regional impact (DRI) in 2004 and calls for the construction of a 32-lot subdivision on the 24-acre site as well as a members-only recreational club. Club owners plan to sell 500 memberships for about $100,000 apiece.
Members will have the use of eight tennis courts, a pool, pond and lawn games area, an 11,000-square-foot fitness center, 7,200-square-foot learning center and tennis pavilion. They will also have access to another private club, The Boathouse, which is being built on the site of the old Navigator restaurant at the foot of Main street.
The subdivision plan was initially proposed by a group that included selectman Michael Donaroma named B.A.D.D. Company LLC, named after the initials of the surnames of its partners. The group bought the property in 2002 for about $800,000.
Last November, the B.A.D.D. group sold land — and with it the approved plans for the subdivision — to a group called South Village Associates Realty Trust, which included local developers Gerret C. Conover and Thomas LeClair, at a cost of $12.35 million.
As part of the commission’s decision to approve the subdivision, the developers were required to donate three lots to the Edgartown affordable housing committee. The lots were to be deed restricted and remain affordable in perpetuity, and were to be located within the subdivision built around the exclusive Field Club.
But over the past 18 months, representatives for South Village Associates Realty Trust have been in negotiations with the Edgartown affordable housing committee and earlier this year proposed the payment of $1.8 million in lieu of designating the three lots.
Developers need approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for a modification of previously approved conditions. The plan was presented to the commission land use subcommittee on Monday, and was approved without dissent following a brief discussion. The full commission still must vote on the modification; a date for the vote has not been set yet.
Janet Hathaway, chairman of the Edgartown affordable housing committee, said the committee welcomes the $1.8 million payment, which will allow more affordable housing units.
“Our committee felt there was more we could do in the affordable housing realm with that money than simply having three lots. This is a lot of money, and it will allow us to do a lot of different and innovative things,” she said.
She said the committee will consider different options, such as purchasing homes currently on the market, purchasing town-owned properties that have title problems and creating mixed-use buildings that include affordable housing.
She cited the recent affordable housing success stories in Edgartown, including the Jenney Way subdivision, the Morgan Woods project — and now the $1.8 million payment.
“We’re on a roll. We are doing so many exciting things,” she said.