Yellow House heads for bid process

Selectmen will give request for proposals a final look before seeking bids.

The Yellow House committee met Tuesday afternoon. —Stacey Rupolo

The Yellow House committee met Tuesday afternoon to finalize elements of the request for proposals (RFP), and set a mandatory site-visit date for bidders.

The Yellow House, located at the corner of Main and South Summer Street in Edgartown, was previously owned by the Hall family. The building has been in disrepair for years, and after a long legal battle with the Hall family, the town, with the blessing of voters, took it by eminent domain for $3 million.

A seven-member committee appointed by selectmen is working on the town’s future use of the building. Members James Carter, Carol Fligor, Chris Schott, Gail Croteau, Jim Shane, and M.J. Look drafted an RFP with the help of procurement officer Juliet Mulinare. The committee made edits to the document with the help of about 15 others who sat in on Tuesday’s meeting.

Selectmen will consider the RFP at the board’s meeting Monday, Nov. 6, at 4 pm. If approved, interested bidders can start sending in their proposals as early as Nov. 8. Bidders have to request a copy of the RFP from Ms. Mulinare, and attend a site visit on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 3 pm. The committee took into consideration off-Island individuals, and said boat cancellations would be the only excuse for a bidder’s absence. An alternative site-visit date would be determined for these bidders, and the Nov. 21 meeting will be recorded.

The pre-bid meeting will start with a walk-through of the historic 1850 home, allowing people inside for the first time since the town took ownership. The group will adjourn to the town hall for an information session followed by a Q and A.

Numbers for performance, payment, and construction bonds were meticulously discussed by the committee at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We need to make sure the town is protected in case the selected contractor goes belly-up mid-construction,” committee member Chris Schott said.

A $5,000 to $10,000 deposit, which will be set by selectmen, will be required to bid. Proposals that don’t go forward will receive the deposit back.

Bidders who have successfully completed three or more historic projects on Martha’s Vineyard will be given preference, as will bidders who can complete the project by the summer of 2019.

The committee is looking for a bidder willing to lease the house for at least 15 years, and up to 30 years.