Just two years after acquiring the former Surfside Lifesaving Station and Star of the Sea Youth Hostel property at 31 Western Avenue, Blue Flag Partners has abandoned its plans for a hotel and put the property back on the market. One of the entities Blue Flag outbid for the historic property back in 2020 was the Egan Maritime Institute.
The following statement was shared by the Egan Maritime Institute on Tuesday, Feb. 14, regarding the listing of the former Surfside Lifesaving Station and Star of the Sea Youth Hostel property:
"Egan Maritime Institute (EMI) was recently made aware that the historic Surfside Lifesaving Station is once again up for sale. In 2020, Egan Maritime Institute was one of a handful of parties interested in purchasing the historic building and was ultimately outbid by the current owners, Blue Flag Development.
As an organization, EMI is committed to preserving Nantucket’s maritime history and devotes significant resources to support this mission through programs that have proven deeply impactful to the Island community. In pursuit of our mission, EMI owns and operates the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum (NSLM) on Polpis Road. The museum is dedicated to honoring Nantucket's history of shipwrecks, lifesaving, and rescuers. The museum and its grounds are open year-round, sharing these stories through community programming, school group visits, and with individual visitors. In addition to the museum, EMI offers robust maritime-centric history and STEM education programs in collaboration with all of the Nantucket schools, the Tall Ship Lynx, the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club, and many others. EMI provides the Island community with trained educators, sophisticated curricula, and unique opportunities for experiential learning as a part of these programs.
Many stories we tell at the Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum start and end at the Surfside Lifesaving Station. The islanders who selflessly risked their lives manning 31 Western Ave are role models to all of us, particularly our students. Our youth enrichment programs aim to inspire children to pursue careers in the maritime sciences, on the water, and beyond. All our programs emphasize the importance of community engagement and encourage our students to become modern-day community leaders.
At this point in our organization’s development, we do not believe that pursuing the purchase of this property from Blue Flag Development is the right strategic decision. “We have only been approached once by the listing agent Carl Lindvall, and the information provided during this phone call made it clear that it is not financially feasible for EMI to become stewards of this historic property,” shares Cynthia McClintock, President of Egan Maritime’s Board of Trustees.
Egan Maritime Institute trusts that the historic preservation restrictions placed on the building will ensure the important historical character of the building will be protected. “As an organization, we just completed a new strategic plan, which emphasizes investing in our property and programs at 158 Polpis Road and in our Island’s schools. Our recent and planned investments in these programs have meaningful impacts on our community. In the years ahead, we look forward to deepening our Island’s connection to its seafaring history and culture and providing life-changing educational opportunities to our Island children,” shares Executive Director Carlisle Jensen.