Though the bids on the Tubman House have been kept close to the vest by USES during their sale process, one bid that has been acknowledged is that of a “community bid” by ABCD President John Drew.
“I thought we should put in a bid and we could use it as a community center and move our South End programs there,” he said. “We did a walk through. Were we able to get the building through a sale, we’d like to put substantial money inside to make sure it is in good working order. It would be a lot of work.”
The ABCD plan would consolidate their two existing locations in the South End – including one on Columbus Avenue and one on Massachusetts Avenue – and combine all of those services into the renovated Tubman House. They would also bring in tenants of a like mind to fill out the space, tenants that Drew said would be exciting and community-oriented.
He said the price they have offered isn’t likely as high as those who submitted from the private market, but he also said it would give the Board of USES another option when deciding.
“We wanted to make sure the was a community bid in the mix,” he said. “I think the Tubman House is critically important…We did want to keep it as sort of the same to show it’s historic. We definitely have a program to bring right in to start and other non-profits that would come in with us.”
He said it would be an excellent opportunity for ABCD, and a way to keep the Tubman House as a place for the community to gather any time.
“Folks still think of the Tubman House as a community place where they can come all the time,” he said.