Is there a status update on the real estate owned by the Star of Hope Foundation?
When the Star of Hope Foundation received the real estate once owned by Robert Indiana, it was determined that all four of the buildings were structurally unsound.
The Star of Hope Foundation must consider the long-term use of all the real estate and is waiting not only for the strategic planning effort to be completed, but also for the Town of Vinalhaven to complete its downtown public works project.
The Star of Hope Lodge: The Foundation went to work to stabilize this significant and historically valuable building, starting in 2019. The effort to stabilize this structure took more than two years to complete, and while underway, was met with a number of major challenges which were costly and time consuming. The roof, walls, and sills were all in disrepair and without the attention the building received, it would have collapsed. The stabilization project is now complete, and residents of Vinalhaven can rest assured that this building will remain standing. Plans to renovate its interior will take place once the strategic planning process is completed by the Board, during which, the uses of the building will be determined, and renovation design will follow. This next phase could begin as early as 2023.
The Sail Loft: This much-loved building is not suitable for any activity at this point, and it too needs major work in order to be functional. Again, the Star of Hope Foundation Board will make decisions about how and when to tackle this building once the strategic plan is done.
10 Main Street: The Star of Hope has recently completed stabilization work to this small building that sits on the edge of the bridge over the water that flows in and out of Carver’s Pond. It too needed some structural repair in the back given its age and location. This charming little gem is zoned for commercial use and decisions about what will take place at this location will be part of the strategic planning effort.
Windy Way: People often inquire about the small yellow house on Windy Way, in back of the public works parking area. This house, which was once occupied, is structurally unsound and in fact, the Star of Hope Foundation does not own a proper Right-of-Way to the building. Therefore, its future is uncertain. A decision about what to do with it will also be part of the strategic plan.
How long will the strategic planning effort take?
Since the Foundation held community meetings and conducted a community-wide survey, in 2018-19, the Board has been at work on the strategic plan and has tapped into the input provided by so many Vinalhaven residents. The Board values the input it received and understands what the community hopes for.
The on-going strategic planning effort takes time, in part because the Foundation’s holdings are significant and there is much work still to be done, including hiring an Executive Director and rounding out the Board with the right skill, expertise and diversity.
What will the future leadership of the Foundation look like?
Unlike so many other non-profits, whose job it is to raise money in order to sustain themselves and be productive, the Star of Hope Foundation is an artist-endowed foundation and has different requirements for leadership. (See the tab on Artist Endowed Foundations)
The Board of the Star of Hope Foundation will likely remain small in scope but it will include the necessary skills, expertise and diversity, in order to fulfill the mission.
Currently, the Board meets 10 times a year and has made significant progress to date. However, finalizing a strategic plan cannot take place until the new leadership (board and executive director) is in place. And while the Foundation has been working on its governance and leadership, it has also been involved in litigation in order to protect the assets that were once held by the estate and are now part of the foundation.
Does the Star of Hope Foundation pay property tax?
At the present time, the Foundation has made the decision to pay annual property tax to the town of Vinalhaven.