Land Bank's Surplus Housing Goes To Island Restaurants

Jason Graziadei •

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The Nantucket Land Bank Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to award two surplus houses from a property on Madaket Road to island restaurants that were seeking the units for staff housing.

Fred Bisaillon and Denise Corson, the owners of B-ACK Yard BBQ and The Charlie Noble restaurants, were granted the main house. Darya Gault, one of the owners of Lemon Press and Darya's Salon, was awarded the cottage from the property.

The recipients of the surplus houses will pay to have them moved to new locations, where they will be used for employee housing, according to their proposals that were submitted to the Land Bank.

The two structures that were up for grabs - a main house and a cottage - are located at the Land Bank’s property at 113 Madaket Road, which it acquired back in December 2009. The Land Bank put out a request to the community earlier this year seeking proposals to relocate and reuse the structures, and received three formal bids.

“That way less goes to the landfill, it saves us the expense of demolition, and hopefully they get repurposed for affordable and/or workforce housing,” said Land Bank executive director Jesse Bell. “A win-win-win.”

In addition to the proposals from Bisaillon/Corson and Gault, the Land Bank had also received a bid from island dentist Jessica Torre.

The Land Bank Commission evaluated each of the proposals during its public meeting on Tuesday, and deemed all three of them to be worthy recipients. They chose Bisaillon/Corson for the main house given the depth and detail of their proposal, and selected Gault for the cottage based on the extent of her businesses' staffing needs.

“It is simply outrageous to rent on Nantucket,” the Gaults wrote in their proposal. “Not only is our work force affected by this issue, but employers are forced to make large financial sacrifices that sometimes can be crippling to small business owners. In February 2022, we purchased a piece of land and have been optimistic about an opportunity like this. We are big advocates of the sustainability factor of moving homes and we have the manpower and experience to put these buildings back together successfully. Once the houses are finished, I intend to fill both dwellings with year round staff. This will allow us to keep Lemon Press open year-round.”

Bisaillon and Corson sought to acquire the main house only and will move it to their own property on Surfside Road where it will be used by their employees.

“They have been trying to find suitable housing for a young family with a toddler and a dog,” Bisaillon and Corson wrote in their proposal to the Land Bank. “We would love to help them and keep them here on island by providing them with a home.”

The Land Bank asked those submitting proposals to identify the address of the potential destination, whether they own the property, a detailed plan and timeline for moving the structure(s) and the anticipated uses of the buildings.

The property at 113 Madaket Road is located at the southern edge of Maxcy Pond, and was purchased by the Land Bank for $2 million in 2009 from Greg Keltz. The terms of the Land Bank’s acquisition of the property stipulated that Keltz would retain the use of the property for 12 years - a term which just expired in December 2021.

“My understanding is that this parcel was the historical access to the pond,” Bell said.

The removal of the two structures, she added, will allow for the access point to be restored, and removal of the septic systems to benefit the health of the pond, which was recently stocked with trout by the Angler’s Club.

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