Sale on Harborfront Sets Another Record Property in Edgartown's Green Hollow Changes Hands for $25.1 Million;

Identity of Buyer Not Disclosed

By JAMES KINSELLA

A harborfront estate in Edgartown sold last week for $25.17 million, setting a new record for the sale of a single-family residence on the Vineyard. This marks the second record-setting real estate sale in less than two months.

David and Michele Hedley of Morristown, N.J., sold their home Top Step in Green Hollow on Feb. 16 to the Edgartown Harbor Nominee Trust. The identity of the buyer is unknown.

Tom LeClair of LandVest in Edgartown who brokered both sides of the sale, said he was bound by a confidentiality agreement to avoid revealing the identity of the buyer.

Mr. LeClair did say the buyer is a successful businessman with a wife and two children.

The Hedleys bought the property, which has 4.7 acres, a deep-water dock, and about 300 feet of frontage on the harbor, for $2.4 million in January 1989.

The nominee trust financed the purchase last week with a $36.9 million mortgage from the Anglo Irish Bank Corp. PLC in Dublin, Ireland.

The Hedleys sold Top Step to move to another home in Edgartown.

"We're building a new house at Herring Creek Farm, right on the ocean," Mr. Hedley said Wednesday. "We're trading the harbor for the ocean."

Mr. Hedley, the former managing director of the financial firm Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, said he retired in the summer of 1999 to spend more time in Edgartown.

"Edgartown's a great place," said Mr. Hedley, whose family has been seasonal residents of the town since 1980. "We expect to be there for another quarter of a century."

At a time when the overall Vineyard real estate market has slowed from the frantic pace of recent years, estate property on the Edgartown harbor has continued to command high prices.

The Hedley sale topped the Island residential real estate record set just a month ago, when Adele Harman Waggaman sold harborfront property on Tower Hill for $22.5 million.

The previous record for a residential Vineyard sale also had been held by an Edgartown waterfront home. The former Peter Sharp house on Starbuck's Neck sold in October 2001 for $21.89 million.

Working with his partners at LandVest, Gerrett D. Conover and David Thompson, Mr. LeClair has been specializing in high-end Vineyard properties.

"Across the Island, the truly special properties are trading before they even hit the market," he said. Such was the case with Top Step.

When the Hedleys bought the property, it had a six-bedroom house built in the 1960s.

The Hedleys tore down the house and built a new house, carriage house and a lighthouse on the property. The Hedley property has been featured on the benefit house tour sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust.

"It's meant a lot to our family," Mr. Hedley said of Top Step. "We have three children. We had a lot of fun times there. Our daughter had her wedding reception there.

"It had been a special place," he added. "And we'll be moving to a special place."