Construction is set to finally begin on the Yellow House in Edgartown, after years of permitting and planning.
At the 2017 annual town meeting, Edgartown voters approved $1.5 million in Community Preservation funds and $1.5 million in town taxes to take the building by eminent domain from the Hall family, after repeated attempts to force the family to make repairs to the dilapidated building failed. The building sits on Main Street, next door to town hall.
The Yellow House committee chose lone bidder Christopher Celeste, operating as Summer & Main LLC, to lease and renovate the property into a retail space with apartments above. Celeste, who owns and operates Rosewater Market down the street, is a familiar presence in the downtown area. So far, a small building next to the Yellow House has been completely renovated and opened this summer as Rosebud Kids, a children’s clothing and goods store.
Fencing will be installed after Columbus Day weekend, and crews will prepare the building for lifting and moving it. Gerret Conover of Conover Restorations, who is managing the project, said if all goes well, he expects to begin construction on Nov. 1, and have the entire building ready by mid-May. “That gives incoming tenants a week or 10 days to get ready to open for Memorial Day,” Conover said.
“Anxious to see it,” selectman Margaret Serpa said.
In other business, Chappaquiddick Ferry co-owner Peter Wells got Edgartown selectmen approval to suspend the cut line for five weeks starting Oct. 20, due to an annual inspection on one of the ferries.
The Chappy Ferry offers a cut line for school buses, U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, VNA, the highway department, Verizon, Eversource, and concrete trucks, but Wells asked for it to be suspended since he would be down a ferry for a few weeks. School buses and fire, police, and ambulance vehicles will continue to be moved ahead of other cars, and loaded immediately.
“If you’re a person who gets to use the cut line, you love the cut line. If you’re a person who doesn’t, you’re irritated and frustrated by it,” Wells said. “Everything will take longer with just one boat.”
The larger of Wells’ two ferries is being taken out of the water and getting its annual maintenance. It will also receive a required inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard. Wells expects the maintenance and inspection to take close to five weeks.
“The boat is in really good shape, so I don’t think it’ll take too long,” Wells told The Times on Tuesday.