156-unit low-income housing project sparks outrage in billionaire’s playground Nantucket

Plans to build an affordable housing complex in Nantucket remain in limbo after locals objected to the scheme, insisting the affluent island does not have the infrastructure or resources for the development.

Surfside Crossing promised 156 homes on the 13.5-acre site, with 70 percent designated for people who live on the island year-round.

On an island where a 5,075- square-foot home recently went for $33 million, and where John Kerry and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman spend their summers, securing housing for those working in tourism or the local economy is a perennial challenge.

Local developers Jamie Feeley and Josh Posner, who previously constructed an award-winning 40-home affordable housing project on the island called Beach Plum Village, said that their proposal was the answer.

They said that 15 of the homes and 24 of the condos would be sold for between $261,000 and $373,000, and none of the 156 properties would be more than $1 million.

Yet locals have for five years been fighting to stop the scheme.

‘Most people on the island think affordable housing is the No. 1 problem facing it,’ said Posner. 

‘And yet these attempts to try and do something about it usually have one tragic flaw: They are next door to somebody.’ 

Meghan Perry, one of the leaders of the Nantucket Tipping Point protest group, told The Daily Beast that her objections were not ‘NIMBYism’.


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