Edgartown responds to questions on Yellow House

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Potential bidders on the Yellow House in Edgartown are seeking clarifications. - George Brennan

The Edgartown procurement office has issued two responses to questions from potential bidders for the request for proposal (RFP) to lease and reconstruct the Yellow House in Edgartown.

The town took the property by eminent domain, and now aims to lease it to a bidder who will revitalize and repurpose it. In February, the town approved Trademark Services LLC to renovate the Yellow House into shops and residential apartments, but scrapped those plans when issues arose in March during negotiations with the developer over how to protect a shade tree.

The town is once again looking for bidders to lease the property long-term.

Bidders can submit questions concerning the RFP to the town. The responses from the town are called addenda, which must be viewed, signed, and returned to the town.

The first addendum was issued on June 28 to provide a link to the Yellow House RFP video, which can be found by searching “Yellow House” on MVTV’s video-on-demand website.

In addition to the video link, questions concerning a public construction law and an issue with tree branches were raised.

A bidder asked if the Yellow House renovations would fall under a Massachusetts public construction contract law because the property is owned by the town. In response, the town stated it intends the Yellow House renovations to fall under private construction and not under public construction laws. All construction will be considered private development. The town says it will have the right to inspect the construction process, but may not modify any design plans.

A bidder also asked if the branches on the property’s shade tree, a large linden, would be trimmed as they could pose a danger to construction. The conservation of the linden tree has been made a priority by the town, who included three conditions for Trademark Services to protect it during their renovations.

The town referred the bidder to a Massachusetts shade tree bylaw which states a town tree warden has the only authority to trim the branches.

In a second addendum released on July 6, a bidder voiced concern that if the state determines the project a public one, it will require more expensive construction procedures such as hiring a reserve police officer, and paying workers compensation and insurance. The bidder asked if a bid could be pulled. The bidder also emphasized the need to trim the tree branches for safety reasons.

In response, the town directed the bidder to the RFP, which states that if the bidder wants to make changes to the lease, they should make their requests in their bid.

Bid proposals are due on July 16. Town selectmen will choose a winning bidder on Aug. 15.