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NANTUCKET, MA-With an eye toward the declining lodging stock here, a Boston investment group has paid $11.1 million to a local couple for four adjacent inns located along the town’s historic district. Michael Garrity, a partner with Boston-based Hawthorne Ventures, tells GlobeSt.com that the group purchased the Roberts House, 11 India St; the Meeting House, 29 Center St; the Manor House, 31 Center St.; and the Linden House, 4 Chestnut St. in an off-market deal after more than a year of negotiations with the properties’ owners, Michael and Sarah O’Reilly. The couple has operated the four inns in the town of Nantucket for more than 20 years.

“There’s no place more idyllic than Nantucket,” says Garrity, adding that the island’s location as a haven for summer visitors combined with a decline in the number of available rental units made the properties a key acquisition. In the last 10 years, Nantucket’s lodging stock has declined 23% as buyers gobbled up inns and bed and breakfasts to turn them into private homes, Garrity says. In the last year alone, 96 rooms were lost to private ownership.

“By virtue of it being an island there are supply constraints and with three strong conservation entities on Nantucket that are aggressive in placing land in conservation, from a lodging perspective you have great fundamentals,” he notes. “Although [Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard] and Boston have very sound fundamentals, the fundamentals as they relate to Nantucket were just overly compelling.”

Garrity says the group plans a long-term hold for the four properties, which also includes about 3,500 sf of retail space along Nantucket’s main street, and will continue to operate them as lodging facilities. The island has drawn increased interest from investors in recent months as the island’s summer season nears. Earlier this month, Newton real estate developer Stephen Karp offered $55 million for a portfolio of at least 48 retail properties in a deal that will make him one of the largest owners of commercial real estate on the island. The pending deal would put half of the island’s commercial properties in the hands of Karp’s Nantucket Island Resorts LLC and expand Karp’s holdings on the island to 78,000 sf.

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