Because Steve Karp and New England Development are closely linked with the Island of Nantucket; there is a commonly-held belief that it’s success as an internationally-renown resort was due to his efforts.
It was not – it was due to a man who not only loved Nantucket, he also knew about our city when we were not at our best, was one of those who assisted in our historic restoration and, though he was a pragmatic businessman, fell in love with Newburyport – Walter Beinecke, Jr.
It is this complex mixing of fact and myth that has many in the city sitting back and feeling comfortable over Mr. Karp’s presence here. Tom Salemi, before he became involved with that rough crowd over at the NRA*, did an excellent job in trying to wake up and warn the citizens of Newburyport. His earlier posts plus many web links are still available on the subject.
And yet, Mr. Karp, though only lightly connected to Mr. Beinecke, Jr. owes much to his legacy. New England Development was and still is a mall-developer – his newest thrust has been toward ‘planned’ self-contained communities. And yet, his success literally is secured by his two anchor sites: Nantucket and Newburyport. These (thankfully) he refuses to apply his typical business plan and is planning and running them differently.
“He considers both Nantucket and Newburyport as kind of special, and he manages them different than his mall areas…He wants the characteristics to both communities preserved. I think he very much recognizes the unique qualities.”
-Andrew Vorce, Nantucket Planning Director
Therefore, to understand why he does this brings us back to Mr. Beinecke.
It is because of this connection, we must examine the biography and philosophy of this unique man if we are to comprehend why Mr. Karp values so much his business approach! The second post will be on his life and the third on his philosophy and his business history.
* Newburyport Redevelopment Authority not the National Rifle Association!