The Water’s Edge Banquet & Function Facility in Edgecomb, a property that has gone through several transitions in the past decade, is under new ownership. Developer Tony Casella sold the banquet hall and several surrounding properties to father-and-son team John Hutchins III and John Hutchins IV.
Under the name Davis Island LLC, the father and son are the new owners of the banquet facility, the pool building, and two housing units at Sheepscot Harbour Village Resort & Spa, as well as a unit in the commercial building adjacent to the property, which currently houses a virtual golf business.
The new owners also took over the rental business at Sheepscot Harbour Village, which Casella was previously in charge of. The sale was finalized at the end of January.
The Hutchinses own several wedding venues, such as Marianmade Farm in Wiscasset, and several wedding-related businesses, such as Leavitt & Parris, which manufactures tents and awnings.
With the banquet facility booked through 2017, Water’s Edge will continue business as usual so as not to disrupt plans for the roughly 59 weddings and events on the calendar, John Hutchins III said.
The Hutchinses are in the process of developing a long-term vision for the location, which they believe has not yet reached its full potential. “This is an underachieved asset,” John Hutchins III said.
When Casella acquired the properties, the building that is now Water’s Edge was in shambles, as was the Sheepscot Harbour Village rental business, Casella said. The Water’s Edge building has been home to the Muddy Rudder, Bintliff’s Ocean Grille, and Davis Island Grille.
The majority of property owners at Sheepscot Harbour Village bought their houses as rental properties, Casella said. When he took over the rental business, it was only generating about $75,000 in revenue. The rental business is now grossing close to $2 million, he said.
“People don’t realize there are almost 200 beds there,” Casella said. “It’s a large rental community.”
The restaurants at the location were never profitable, Casella said. When Casella took ownership of the building, he rebranded it as a wedding and event center, and business took off. The venue now generates about $1 million in revenue and is booked solid through the summer season, he said.
“The whole resort turned around and became a profitable venture,” Casella said. “Because of all the weddings, the place is extremely busy.”
Casella, however, is a developer, not a wedding venue operator, he said. For the past year, he worked with the Hutchinses, housing guests at Marianmade Farm weddings, before approaching them about taking over the business.
The rental business attracted the Hutchinses to the property, John Hutchins III said. Rentals are in demand in the area during the summer season, and they saw an opportunity, through the rental program, to support their customers by helping them secure lodging.
The idea of taking over the Water’s Edge wedding venue was introduced later in the conversation, Hutchins III said. In January, the Hutchinses closed on the Water’s Edge, a cottage known as the bridal suite, another cottage in the village, the rental program and its office, the pool building, and the virtual golf center.
Despite the change in ownership, the businesses on the properties have been operating as normal, John Hutchins III said. In 2018, the Hutchinses will re-examine new potential directions for the Water’s Edge and begin to remodel and remarket it, he said.
Lincoln County and the Midcoast have great potential as a wedding destination, Casella said.
Casella still owns several pieces of property on Davis Island, he said. He still has building rights to land in The View, the housing development adjacent to Sheepscot Harbour Village, and owns the unit in the commercial building now home to a karate studio.
Casella also still has the maintenance contract for the Sheepscot Harbour Village & Resort, he said.
The resort is beginning to attract people from all over the country to the area, Casella said. Nearly 300 people come to the resort each week over the summer season for weddings, he said.
Casella said he hopes the new owners will continue to grow the business. “It’s all a positive impact for the area,” he said.