There was little need for ceremonial golden shovels during Wednesday afternoon’s groundbreaking for phase two of the Island Housing Trust’s Lake street project. Construction had already begun on the third and final duplex town house of the affordable housing mini-community in Vineyard Haven. When complete, the duplexes will house six families.
Chilmark general contractor Farley Pedler of Drews Cove Builders started work on phase two “as soon as the ink had dried on the contract,” Island Housing Trust executive director Philippe Jordi said, with little exaggeration to the gathered crowd.
“The groundbreaking was [scheduled for] today, but they’ve already laid the foundation,” Mr. Jordi added.
“We’re on a tight schedule,” Mr. Pedler laughed after the ceremony, ticking off a timetable for the duplex. Drews Cove excavated the site last Wednesday and poured the foundation on the following Tuesday. Framing begins next Monday. The duplex is expected to be completed in May 2013.
The first two homes on Lake street, built during phase one of the project, were constructed by Williams Builders, an off-Island contractor.
“I was a bit concerned about submitting a bid [for phase two] because I knew there was no way we could compete with an off-Island company,” Mr. Pedler said. Drews Cove, he said, decreased its profit margin in order to produce a more competitive bid. This is the second affordable housing project Drews Cove is working on; the company is also partnering with Jim Feiner to build two homes in West Tisbury.
“[Island Housing Trust] is great to work with,” he said. “They get the energy component of things.” Reducing annual energy costs for the future homeowners is a top priority for both Drews Cove and Island Housing Trust, Mr. Pedler said.
“It’s great to have young Island builders doing this kind of work,” Mr. Jordi said.