NANTUCKET, MA-Prolonged attempts to save one of this island’s most beloved landmarks has been passed on to a new ownership group. Developer Haim Zahavi has transferred the Dreamland Theater at 17 South Water St. to a foundation supported by Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. of Boston and other business leaders. The real estate investment firm is said to be assisting as part of a benevolent campaign to preserve the 18th-Century building, an effort that reportedly also includes Starwood Hotels guru Barry Sternlicht.

In divesting the asset for $9.8 million, Zahavi was paid substantially more than the $6 million his Dreamland Theater ZMG LLC plunked down in March 2005 to secure control of the building and the adjacent 18 Easy St. Zahavi and his partners intended initially to preserve the Dreamland by adding onto the tiny property and incorporating condominium units and a possible restaurant. More than two years of discussions and impassioned pleas by island natives and visitors failed to move the project along, however, and sources familiar with the negotiations say the development community finally stepped in to assist the local campaign.

Intercontinental is reportedly not directly involved in the venture but acted as an intermediary to allow the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation a structure to acquire the property. Corporate records show Frederick W. Ulmer III as a director of the foundation. Efforts to contact him and other principals were not returned by deadline, but sources insisted the deal has been completed. “It’s happening for sure,” one source confirmed for

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