The Nature Conservancy has sold its Lambert’s Cove office to BiodiversityWorks, providing a permanent home for the Vineyard-based wildlife monitoring and research nonprofit.

The sale was recorded Jan. 31, TNC said in a press release Monday, for a below-market price of $350,000. BiodiversityWorks has been a tenant in the building for nearly a decade, and will now rent office space to TNC for Mike Whittemore, who is the Vineyard land steward for the global conservation agency.

The building, located at 18 Helen avenue just off Lambert’s Cove Road in Vineyard Haven, was assessed at $482,700 in 2019. It includes 1.6 acres of woodland, sandwiched between the Wakeman Center which houses a group of conservation nonprofits, including the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation and the Vineyard Conservation Society.

BiodiversityWorks has rented two small offices in the building since it was a fledgling organization, begun in 2011 by Luanne Johnson, a zoologist and former piping plover conservator for the Trustees of Reservations. In the years since, it has expanded its donor base, as well as its Island wildlife research and monitoring programs to include studies on everything from birds to bats to snakes.

Ms. Johnson, who is executive director, said the purchase would help the organization grow and continue those efforts. Because BiodiversityWorks had been a tenant in the building since its inception, the organization never had complete freedom over its programming and its use of the space.

Ms. Johnson said the purchase adds permanence to BiodiversityWorks and would allow for more bat talks, bird walks and everything in between — all on a property they could call their own. She plans for a “biodiversity blitz” in the near future in order to catalog every bit of wildlife on the 1.6 acres.

“Those doors were not really open to us because it wasn’t our property,” Ms. Johnson said. “But now we have a space. A gathering space. And as a young nonprofit, it lets people know that we’re here to stay.”

The chance to purchase the property arose late last year, when it became clear that TNC was looking to sell its office space and land as it scaled back its presence on the Island. Ms. Johnson and her staff networked with TNC, from whom they had rented from for nearly a decade, and decided that they would start a capital campaign to make the purchase possible.

Three months and over 100 donations later, they had raised more than $350,000 — enough to buy the office space outright and avoid the encumbrance of a mortgage.

“When the opportunity came up and [TNC] offered us a bargain sale, we had to make it happen,” Ms. Johnson said. “That was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”

For TNC, it was important that the property remained in the hands of an organization that listed conservation as a top priority. They felt there was no better option than their longtime tenant and neighbor.

“We’re thrilled with our partnership with BiodiversityWorks, and we’re thrilled with this outcome,” said Wayne Klockner, Massachusetts director for TNC, in a press release. “We knew we wanted this property to remain in the Island conservation family, and we were committed to offering a sale price that would make that possible.”

After the elimination of their Vineyard-based program director last spring, TNC began to look for options to sell the office space and felt that their tenant, BiodiversityWorks, was the right fit, assistant TNC state director Kim Lutz said. She said the building would still serve as a home base for the field and land management work on the Island.

“Our mission as an organization has not changed. We really just evolved our thinking and honed in on what can be our maximum role on the Vineyard in the future, and that’s management and restoration,” Ms. Lutz said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Ms. Johnson said the building needs renovation work, but that she and her assistant director Liz Olson had already painted walls and added recycled-plastic carpet tiling, among other minor projects. They have also contacted Cape Light Compact to help make the building more energy efficient. Ms. Johnson was not sure if the organization would eventually replace the building, but she said the capital campaign had raised enough money for further work on the property.

The sale represents something of a “switcheroo,” as she called it, with TNC’s land steward Mr. Whittemore moving into one of the offices that was formerly rented by BiodiversityWorks. Ms. Johnson will move into former TNC employee Tom Chase’s office.

It was Mr. Chase who brought Ms. Johnson to the Vineyard to help with the Island’s first piping plover beach closures in the early 1990s.

“It was a great partnership all those years,” Ms. Johnson said. “But that part is a little bittersweet for me.”

A trained zoologist, Ms. Johnson came to the Island in 1992 and worked for the Trustees. By 2011, she started to see a need for a Vineyard-based conservation organization specifically devoted to wildlife research and monitoring, as well as education. BiodiversityWorks was born.

Ten years later, they have their own property.

“We started from nothing,” Ms. Johnson said. “We’re so excited. The road is just paved with possibility for us.”