PROVINCETOWN — Visitors to MacMillan Pier this summer are guaranteed a sighting of a great white shark — 12 feet long and with plenty of teeth. But the toothed creature isn’t here for the seals. Rather, it is serving as a welcome for the new outpost of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC), which is set to open on the pier this summer in the space that for two decades housed the Whydah Pirate Museum.
Given to the organization in memory of AWSC donor Heather Crunchie, the fiberglass shark seems an appropriate mascot for the organization’s new Shark Center. The mission of the AWSC, based in Chatham, is to promote scientific research, improve public safety, and educate Cape communities in the name of great white shark conservation. The group has signed a five-year lease and has plans to renovate and expand the commercial space.
The outpost will open first as a shop and to offer shark ecotourism and research trips from one of the slips in the marina. A museum will follow, after renovations scheduled for the winter.
Whydah Museum owner Barry Clifford told the Cape Cod Times that, because he has a location in Yarmouth and plans to open another in Salem, he no longer needs his Provincetown space.
Clifford put his building at 16 MacMillan Wharf on the market at the end of 2020 for $9,750,000.
The AWSC is leasing the first floor as a commercial space, according to real estate adviser Mike Howell of SVN Safe Haven Advisors, who is the listing agent for the property. The lease will continue when the building is bought, he said. The condominium on the second and third floors of the building is currently occupied by members of the Clifford family, beneficiaries of the trust that owns the building.
The hybrid nature of the property makes it unique and explains the asking price, said Howell. A space that offers a commercial income stream, residential space, and deep-water docking all in one is hard to come by.