The Martha’s Vineyard Airport commission awarded leases to three businesses for four new lots in the airport business park late last week, marking the first expansion at the business park in 20 years.
More than 50 businesses showed interest in the four lots situated around the perimeter of the business park, ranging in size from 9,300 to about 140,000 square feet. In the end five businesses submitted proposals; at a meeting of the airport commission Thursday, three were awarded leases.
Annual rent for the properties is expected to exceed $380,000 bringing in new revenue for the airport, according to information provided to the Gazette in an email by airport director Geoffrey Freeman.
“All these revenues go to support the airport as a whole,” Mr. Freeman told the Gazette by phone later.
Leases were awarded to James Eddy, owner of Big Sky Party Tent Rentals and JR Construction and Sons. Two leases were awarded to Miller Professionals Inc. Applicants Conroy development and T Ford Company, both wanting to use lots for storage, were not offered leases.
Miller Professionals, a construction company based in Vineyard Haven, will occupy the smallest 9,300-square-foot lot and the largest 140,000-square-foot lot. The company will pay $18,000 in annual rent for the smallet lot and $160,000 in annual rent for the larget lot. Both will be used for the storage of landscaping and construction materials.
Mr. Freeman said it was unclear whether Miller Professionals will accept one or both of the leases. If one of the lots becomes available, the airport commission will advertise for new bids.
A 130,000-square-foot lot was awarded to Big Sky, for an annual rent of $143,792. A 27,000-square-foot warehouse is planned for the property, Mr. Freeman said in an email.
JR Construction and Sons, an Edgartown-based general contractor, plans a 13,900-square-foot office building on the 31,000-square-foot lot in will lease. The annual rent is $60,000.
The businesses will be notified by the airport of the lease awards, and will have 30 days to agree to lease terms, Mr. Freeman said. He said land clearing and maintenance for the sites will be left up to the prospective tenants, and the tenants will be able to move into the lots as soon as they meet the necessary Edgartown zoning requirements.
“They can start right away,” Mr. Freeman said.
Also Thursday, the airport commission heard a presentation from a Tetra Tech consultant on next steps as the airport attempts to mitigate the effects of PFAS contamination in West Tisbury wells caused by firefighting foams in late 2018.
Tetra Tech vice president Ron Myrick showed commissioners data indicating that the highest concentrations of PFAS leaching from the airport are found in wells closest to the airport. He said the engineering firm is working to figure out how long it may take for the PFAS to travel through the groundwater and into surrounding bodies of water, including Long Pond.
“Over time, certainly things will begin to flush through,” he said. Once dissipated in groundwater, Mr. Myrick said the chemicals pose much less of a threat in non-potable bodies of water.
Mr. Myrick also detailed a schedule of tests, investigations, state reports and risk assessment for the fiscal year 2023, expected to cost the airport $265,000.
As work surrounding the PFAS contamination continues, Mr. Myrick said next steps for the airport should become more clear.
“We’re really starting to understand what’s happening here,” he said.