I first came to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 1972 on the request of a gentleman from Edgartown to assist in developing a management strategy for his new resort in Katama. I returned to Boston for the winter and, as fate would have it, I received another offer to come back to The Vineyard in the spring of 1973 to work with a group developing property around Sengekontacket Pond in Oak Bluffs. This time I stayed and made Martha’s Vineyard my home.
Coming out of a recession, the 70’s were hard times for real estate on The Vineyard and, although summer traffic was always strong, property sales were hit and miss and quite sluggish. With the real estate market was slow, I spent a lot of time fishing the beaches, stalking the blue claw crab, digging clams, raking scallops in the winter, and….becoming an Islander.
In 1979 I opened Ocean Park Realty, Inc. in downtown Oak Bluffs and the real estate activity began to pick up to a pace that suggested I might have a chance at making a living in this business. I worked with property owners from Edgartown to Aquinnah and developed a respectable reputation that enabled me to expand business and purchase my first building on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. The history of Oak Bluffs with its dramatic Victorian architecture, The Campgrounds, its beaches, harbor, and welcoming residents gave me a true sense of feeling at home.
In the late 1980’s the real estate picture on Martha’s Vineyard changed dramatically and the demand for properties soundly outstripped the supply. Developers made their mark in every town with new subdivisions, a world class golf club, new restaurants, and shops. Builders came from parts unknown to participate in and take advantage of the explosion in the housing market. The sounds of construction and progress rained a constant beat all over The Island and it began to take a toll on the infrastructure of this fragile land. The conservation efforts of the Land Bank, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and more stringent zoning regulations in The Island Towns helped to offset this onslaught.
During this time Ocean Park Realty not only continued to grow with the local economy, but something else happened that slightly changed our course in the business. Partly due to our location along with our interest in the community, Ocean Park Realty became the Oak Bluff’s “specialist.” I became the representative on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and later on Chairman of the Board of Selectman. Other agents took on roles in various town departments and agencies, and we understood the local issues of zoning and conservation and developed an ability to work within the town in order to get the right answers for our clients and customers and help them through the red tape of selling or buying.
Today, Ocean Park Realty, Inc. sells and lists more property in Oak Bluffs than any other agency on Martha’s Vineyard. Buyers looking for a Victorian cottage, building site, a luxury waterfront residence, or a cozy cape style home have only to contact us and we will make it happen. Over the years we have nurtured a referral network that remains our most powerful and effective marketing edge. Working with generations of family members and their friends has been our good fortune and we continue to provide the same professional service as always.