A historic Edgartown hotel is getting a makeover and a name change, as the Boston-based real estate investment firm Blue Flag Partners revealed their plans for the redesign and re-imagining of the Kelley House Hotel as Faraway MV last week.

Blue Flag acquired the Kelley House and surrounding properties in October 2020 for $19.64 million, assembling a collection of buildings that encompasses most of the block bordered by Dock, North Water, Daggett and Kelley streets. A complete revamp of the property is now in progress, including an interior redesign of all the buildings, a public pedestrian path running from Dock to North Water streets and relocating the hotel pool to the center of the property.

The view from Dock street. — Ray Ewing

Plans to renovate and expand the historic 1742 building, home to The Newes from America pub, were tabled this winter in response to rising construction costs. The scale back meant plans were no longer subject to MVC review.

Last week, the developers hosted a tour of the work-in progress at the hotel. In a follow up conversation with Blue Flag principals Brad Guidi and Jason Brown, the duo said they plan to have the hotel and News Pub open by Memorial Day.

“We’ve always had the opinion that there was a real opportunity at the Kelley House, given the campus environment,” Mr. Guidi said.

He referenced one of their first hospitality projects, the Roberts House Nantucket property, as a similar collection of eclectic buildings which they redesigned into a cohesive campus. That project, Faraway Nantucket, was the first in the Faraway Brand.

“We try to create something which is authentic,” Mr. Guidi said of their approach to design. “The biggest compliment we can get is when the locals like it.”

Mr. Brown grew up spending summers with his family in a rented house on Chappaquiddick, he said, and continues to do so.

“We’ve been working hard to uncover its soul, and what it wants to be,” Mr. Brown said of the Kelly House project.

In a press release, Mr. Guidi described the company’s muse for the redesign as an imagined 1960s innkeeper: “We dreamed up a woman who grew up on the Island in the 1960’s, tending to her gardens all the while learning the healing powers plants possess” the release reads. “As the years carried on, murmurings of her music, floral sculptures, and curated nightly gatherings caught in the wind like a heavy fragrance.”

The interiors, Mr. Guidi and Mr. Brown said, are mid-century and up-Island inspired, and renderings of the interior can be found on their website. Room rates range from $179 to $1,337 a night.

“The most important part is keeping the history of the Newes,” said Mr. Brown, emphasizing that the pub’s menu and look would remain largely unchanged. He said they would also reopen the Pelican Club, the pop-up cocktail and sushi bar open for the last two summers, as a permanent summer restaurant.

The space next to the Newes will be run by retailer Wheat, a store with locations in L.A., Anguilla and Nantucket, Mr. Brown said. The store will include a coffee and snack bar, he added.  

A site plan rendering offers of a view of what is to come.

Along with on-site staff housing, the company purchased additional staff housing in Oak Bluffs. Real estate transaction records indicate that Blue Flag Capital LLC purchased 24 Sumner Park Road in Oak Bluffs for $3,350,000. Mr. Guidi also emphasized that, while parking was rearranged it would not be reduced overall, and that the hotel formalized an agreement to provide the Edgartown Council on Aging with ADA accessible parking spots.

“We’re really excited because we think Edgartown is on a path to become more pedestrian,” Mr. Brown said of their design plan. “We’re trying to make it more cohesive, and bringing a bit of the other towns to it.... We want to embrace the unique quality of the people and buildings on this Island.”