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Commercial Island Development Opportunity



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Local Data:
This commercial site is located on Block Island, R.I., midway between NYC and Boston. A rare beauty, the island is designated as "one of the 12 last great places in the western hemisphere" by the Nature conservancy. The island draws 600,000 visitors who spend $250 million annually. Commercial space rents at $40 per square foot for the season, about double the rate on the nearby mainland resort of Narragansett. Recent summer lodging prices were $220 per night for hotels, and $1500 per week for apartments. 

This acreage is located downtown, in the island's central business district, directly across the street from the town's bank and main grocery store. To the East on Ocean Avenue abutters include the Albion Pub, a year round bar-restaurant, and Captain Nick's, a nightclub with seasonal live entertainment. A quarter mile further east is the main ferry terminal. Rural uses predominate west of the site in the mile between it and New Harbor, giving it first exposure to the people coming into town from the three surrounding marinas. 

Included in the sale is a 63,095 square foot lot of record with an additional 13,687 square feet deeded from the lot behind it, bringing the buildable area up to conformity with the zoning requirement of 20,000 sq. ft. Located in the Service Commercial zone, permitted uses include restaurants, retail, rental rooms, etc. Plans have been approved by the Historic District Commission and Coastal resources Management for a 7800 sq.ft. inn on a knoll 200 feet back from Ocean avenue on a private road with approved sewer and water. 

Car Ferry to the island is an hour and a half drive from Boston, and a high speed passenger ferry is across the street from the New London Ct. Amtrak station on the NYC-Boston Amtrak line. Yachts have three marinas in Great Salt pond, also known as New Harbor. Though it has the distinction of being the smallest town in the smallest state, Block Island also has scheduled air service, from Westerly, R.I.


Block Island is differentiated by its exceptional physical beauty from competing high end summer beach resorts including the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Newport. It has displayed resistance to the current recession, as reported island hotel tax revenues were unchanged in 2009, and Salt Pond marina revenues were reported off somewhat early in the season, but recovered in the second half. 

Very short three month season makes profitability contingent on close control of expenses. Hurricane exposure is somewhat greater than competing resorts. Wetlands on the site complicates the permitting process.

Market price of comparable sites:
No comparable commercial land sales were found. In the alternative, as island residential sales prices currently are closely tracking assessed prices, an estimated assessment is assumed to approximate the market price.

A survey of assessed value was conducted for nearby comparable lots in the Service Commercial zone. As the subject as recorded is non-conforming, and the sale provides a conforming site by virtue of the added deeded land, value was derived by looking at three other conforming parcels.

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Offered at $8.50/sq. ft. ($650,000), brokers protected.        telephone 401 466 8806


Plot plan showing commercial site, deeded addition, and lot in back (not for sale).

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