The historic Brass Lantern Inn on North Water Street was sold Wednesday for $7.5 million to Blue Flag Partners in the latest acquisition by the Boston-based real estate firm.
Built in 1847 one year after the Great Fire destroyed the previous structure on the property, the Brass Lantern Inn has been a guesthouse since the early part of the 20th century and was previously known as the Parker House and the Stetson House.
"We’re thrilled to be the next stewards of the Brass Lantern Inn," Blue Flag said in a statement provided to the Current. "It’s an incredible inn, and we are planning on preserving this gem of a property along with its historic Nantucket charm."
The property was sold by Michelle Langlois, who had purchased the Brass Lantern Inn back in 2000 and served as the owner/innkeeper while overseeing a series of major renovations. Bookings for the Brass Lantern's rooms during the summer months started at roughly $500 per night.
Langlois' sale to Blue Flag includes the inn - consisting of 15 rooms with en-suite baths and a two-bedroom suite - along with the .17-acre lot in downtown Nantucket. Langlois on Thursday confirmed the sale, but declined to comment further, stating "I need to wait until the dust settles a bit."
For Blue Flag, the firm co-founded by Terry Sanford and Brad Guidi, it marked yet another addition to its sprawling Nantucket real estate portfolio assembled over the past four years through a blitz of big-ticket acquisitions. Those include the Faraway Nantucket hotel (the former Roberts House Collection on Centre Street), the historic Woodbox Inn, The Pearl and Boarding House restaurants, the former Century House Inn, the residential developments Cannonbury Lane and Hawthorne Park, The Beachside hotel, along with the former Star of the Sea Hostel in Surfside. Blue Flag now has more than $500 million in assets under management, with properties on Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, and in Boston in addition to its Nantucket portfolio.
The history of the Brass Lantern Inn was recently told by the Nantucket Preservation Trust, which recently assembled a "house history" of the historic property. In the aftermath of the Great Fire, the empty lot at 11 North Water Street was sold for $1,000 to shipwright Philander Fisher, who built the current structure in 1847.
"Fisher, his wife, Mahala, and daughter left the island for San Francisco in December 1852 on the steamer Star of the West," according to the NPT history. "He sold their North Water Street residence for $2,500 to Lewis Wendel (d. 1878) earlier that month."
The sale of the Brass Lantern Inn was just the latest downtown lodging establishment to be sold over the past three years. In October, the Boston real estate development firm Core Investments dropped $10 million to acquire three contiguous properties in downtown Nantucket that include a pair of historic former guesthouses on North Water Street - the former Easton House guesthouse and the former Hussey House.
In Dec. 2021, the Martin House Inn on Centre Street was sold late to FP Martin House LLC for $6.33 million. The buyers were real estate investors Alexander Leventhal, Jeremy Leventhal, and Elliot Gould, the founders and current owners of the Greydon House on Broad Street.
Pete and Thea Kaizer, the longtime owners of the Brant Point Inn, sold the three buildings that make up the lodging property on North Beach Street and Dolphin Court in late August 2021 for $10 million. The buyers were the principals of Anchor Line Partners, a Boston-based real estate investment firm, and Nauset Strategies, a firm that specializes in government and community relations, and strategic communications.
And in the spring of 2021, Blue Flag struck a deal to acquire the Summer House’s downtown lodging properties for $13.3 million deal including the Woodbox property on Fair Street, the Pineapple Inn on Hussey Street, the India Street Inn on India Street, and the Hawthorn House on Chestnut Street.