Residents Group Buys Mashnee Island Property
By: Diana T. Barth
A group of Mashnee Island residents has purchased the building—and the land surrounding it—that has been the home of the Quahog Republic.
A deed and associated documents were recorded Monday afternoon in the Barnstable County registry. They show a purchase price of $2.75 million and two mortgages.
One, for $650,000 was granted to Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank; the second, for $931,500, to Wianno Road, Mashnee Island, resident James S. Gonet. The remainder of the funding was fronted by the unidentified Mashnee Island property owners who joined together to purchase the property, once the home of a private club.
The purchase marked the end of the property’s lease by Quahog Republic owner Erik K. Bevans. It also marked the end of Mr. Bevans’s sublease to Bourne Community Boating, which also ceased to exist when Mr. Bevans’ lease was terminated.
It did not, however, end hopes by both Bourne Community Boating and the Town of Bourne that they will be able to work with the new owners.
At Wednesday night’s meeting of the town’s community preservation committee, that group authorized Chairman Barry H. Johnson to write a letter to the new owners, through their attorney, Thomas A. Latanzi of Orleans. That committee has voter authorization to buy a portion of the property, and committee members want to open the door to any discussions the property’s new owners might wish to have.
Similarly, Bourne Community Boating members are hopeful that the new owners will have the same attitude toward the BCB sailing program as the former owner did. Mr. Bevans not only subleased some of the land under his control to the BCB, he provided shade under his deck for the group’s educational program and other amenities.
“We’re hoping that they will continue to support the kids in Bourne,” BCB President Kenneth D. Legg said, and allow the boating group to continue its program at the Mashnee Island location. The waters there are in a protected area that is ideal for neophyte sailors.
Mr. Legg said that the group has already taught some 200 Bourne youngsters and wants to continue teaching them. The program does not have a lot of time to either come to an agreement over the use of the Mashnee site or find a new location. Applications usually go out at the beginning of March.
Members of the BCB have said they were surprised when Mr. Bevans relinquished his right of first refusal to buy the land, taking a buyout of his interests, instead.
That relinquishment—and the end of Mr. Bevans’ superior court suit, which had blocked any sale of the land—left open the door to the purchase by Mashnee Group LLC, an as-yet unnamed group of island residents.
The sale, however, was a great relief to the seller, Constance McClellan of Harvard, principal of Mashnee Village Inc., said her attorney, J. Ford O’Connor.
The court cases and controversies over the use of the land had weighed heavily on the elderly Ms. McClellan, who had owned the property for many years.
The Barnstable County Superior Court cases, including one filed against selectmen over the Quahog Republic’s licensure, have now been, or will be, dismissed, Mr. O’Connor said, and there is no reason for his client to appeal a recent Department of Environmental Protection decision.
Mr. O’Connor said he and his client were very happy to be out of the fray as various groups competed to buy the land.
He said he is still operating under an agreement with the property’s new purchasers that says neither the property owner, that company’s agent, or its attorneys would work with the town toward a sale of the land, so he had no comment on the land’s future except to say to the new owners, “We wish them well.”
Mr. Bevans could not be reached for comment. His Quahog Republic group, working from its retail store in Plymouth, won second place in last weekend’s chili contest on Martha’s Vineyard.
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