Five residential houses owned by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are going on the market.
The houses, located in a complex off Woods Hole Road on Winding Lane, have been used by WHOI for student and researcher housing since the 1970s, said Jeffrey A. Fernandez, WHOI's chief financial officer. However, with the recent opening of the institution's $3.5 million dormitory at 85 Oyster Pond Road, the houses are being sold to help offset the new building's construction costs, he said.
The Falmouth Planning Board voted unanimously Tuesday, May 31, to allow WHOI to consolidate the three adjacent lots on Woods Hole Road and Winding Lane where the houses are located. John E. Weyand of Sotheby's International Realty, who is brokering the sale for WHOI, said the houses and a .8-acre lot are valued at $2.5 million and will go on the market "soon."
Mr. Weyand said that consolidating the lots gives prospective buyers more options for using the land. He said options include renovating them into affordable housing units or condominiums.
"We'd rather sell it to one developer who wants to fix up all of the properties," he said.
Two of the five homes are historic, and will be renovated and remodeled in step with their historic character, Mr. Weyand said. The newly developed lot will be designed to fit in with the character of Woods Hole, he added.
"WHOI is very sensitive about bringing something in that fits and is respectful of the village," he said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last month to celebrate the opening of the new WHOI dormitory, which will house 35 graduate and undergraduate students. Mr. Fernandez said WHOI is not losing any residential units through the loss of the five houses. WHOI has no plans to sell any additional residential property, he added.