Town And Land Bank Weighing Purchase Of Tidal Creeks Ship Store

Jason Graziadei •

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The Select Board and the Nantucket Land Bank Commission will meet in an executive session Thursday afternoon to consider the purchase of 32 Washington Street, a waterfront property owned by Rick Kotalac and the current home of the Tidal Creeks Ship Store.

The town has a formal right of first refusal to acquire the property - a grant that was recorded in the Nantucket Registry of Deeds back in July 2008. Kotalac currently has an offer to buy the property from another party in the neighborhood of $5 million, according to a town government source, and the town will need to decide on whether to exercise its right of first refusal by matching that offer in the coming weeks.

Kotalac ran the former Brant Point Marine store on the property for decades before selling the business to Mike Allen in late 2020, and a portion of the building remains the home of some members of the Kotalac family.

Allen, who renamed the store the Tidal Creeks Ship Store, announced that the business would be closing down in October amid some hard feelings between him and Kotalac.

At the time, Allen told the Current that when he took over the business, he and Kotalac inked a three-year “trial period” lease, and had a handshake agreement on a six- to nine-year extension. Both he and the Gerstmyers poured money, time, and resources into the business and renamed it the Tidal Creeks Ship Store after Allen’s boat-building business. But Allen said last year his relationship with Kotalac and his hope to extend the lease fell apart.

“He (Rick) came to me last summer saying that he was worried about the (town’s) coastal resilience plan and that it didn’t show his building on there and thought he should sell before it was a problem,” Allen said last month. “Last November before he went to Costa Rica, we had a meeting and he told me he was not going to be renewing the lease and selling to the Land Bank. He asked me to sign a release of a lot of my rights to the existing lease, which I did not do. I told him I didn’t like his plan, but I kind of understood it. I didn’t think it was good business. I asked to be a tenant at will, but he said the deal with the Land Bank was imminent. We were going to be out, and he said the Land Bank could not have tenants in the building.”

Allen said he was later informed by a person associated with the Land Bank that a deal to sell the property at 32 Washington Street was not happening, that the Land Bank was no longer interested, and negotiations had ceased.

Reached by phone last month, Kotalac was reluctant to comment on the future of the store and the property but did share a few details and his perspective on the situation.

“You’ll find out in about a month or so,” Kotalac said of the fate of the property. “Mike Allen has an opinion and a one-sided, wrong story in my mind. The truth will come out in about a month. But there will be a store there. I’ve lived on Nantucket my whole life and there’s always different opinions and the rumor mill gets going.”

Thursday's executive session meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. View the agenda by clicking here. 

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