Tower Hill Sale Sets Real Estate Record
By JAMES KINSELLA
In a record-setting sale for the Vineyard, the waterfront Waggaman property on Tower Hill in Edgartown has sold for a total of $22.5 million.
The deal, which closed last Friday, is the single largest residential real estate sale in Island history. The buyer is known only as Edgartown Harbor LLC, which lists an address of an Edgartown law office.
Adele Harman Waggaman, a longtime Edgartown summer resident, held title to the two parcels involved in the transaction, which together cover about 10 acres. The land previously had been owned by her maiden family.
"I'm getting old and I have five children," Mrs. Waggaman said Wednesday about the decision to sell. "A lot of families in the same situation don't speak, they really don't speak for years, for like 20 years. I really didn't want that to happen."
Speaking of the sale, she said, "I thought it was the best thing to do."
One of her sons, David LeBreton of Edgartown and Dedham, said: "It's bittersweet, obviously. We're going to support mom. It must be a terrible decision. Fortunately, everyone has a lot to focus on moving forward."
Mrs. Waggaman and her family will continue to own an adjoining 10-acre parcel, on which they plan to build family residences and a tennis court.
The transaction took place in several steps. Mrs. Waggaman sold one Katama Road parcel to the limited liability company for $18.5 million. She also transferred the title of a second parcel for a nominal sum to her two sons, Mr. LeBreton and Arnold Welles of Greenwich, Conn. Mr. Welles and Mr. LeBreton then sold their property to the limited liability company for $4 million.
Edgartown Harbor LLC financed the purchase with a $12.5 million mortgage loan through J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
As part of the overall transaction, the sellers received easements across the property to Edgartown harbor.
"He was very nice," Mrs. Waggaman said of one of the unnamed buyers. "We'll keep a couple of kayaks on the beach."
The Waggaman sale exceeds the previous record sale, the former Sharp house on Starbuck's Neck in Edgartown, which sold in October 2001 for $21.8 million.
The broker for the sale was Tom LeClair of LandVest in Edgartown.
Tower Hill, overlooking Edgartown inner harbor, is part of a classic Edgartown summer colony.
Mrs. Waggaman is the widow of Robert MacKenzie Waggaman, who died in 1981. In the 1960s, Mr. Waggaman bought the land that Mrs. Waggaman and her family will retain.
At one point, Mr. LeBreton said, the extended family owned about 40 acres between Katama Road and the harbor.
"There were lots of cousins running around," he said. "It was mayhem. It was wonderful."