Last week, Steve Bernier, owner of closed on a condemned property at 6 Water Street in downtown Vineyard Haven. Subsequently, he turned around and donated the property to Island Housing Trust. The $700,000 home represents the Island's single largest affordable housing donation to date.
The property is located next door to the old Golden Dragon restaurant building that was purchased by supermarket earlier this year. Bernier told the Martha’s Vineyard Times that the purchase was in response to his hearing that Stop & Shop planned to triple the size of their Vineyard Haven store, which would be detrimental to his business.
Whether the move was philanthropic or strictly business, the Island Housing Trust couldn’t be happier. In a statement, Richard Leonard, chairman of the Island Housing Trust, said, “The Island Housing Trust is incredibly grateful to Steve Bernier for his generous donation, and looks forward to working with the Town of Tisbury to re-use this centrally located property for needed workforce housing."