Thursday, March 23, 2023

NPS Seeks New Tenant for Former Carrot Tree Building in Yorktown

The Cole Digges House as it appeared when the Carrot Tree occupied the building. (Gregory Connolly/WYDaily)
The Cole Digges House as it appeared when the Carrot Tree occupied the building. (Gregory Connolly/WYDaily)

The National Park Service is on the lookout for a new tenant for the Cole Digges House, the site of the Carrot Tree’s Yorktown location for more than a decade before the two sides were unable to reach a contract agreement last year.

NPS relies on third-party concessioners to provide services like restaurants and lodging at its parks across the country. Carrot Tree operated as one of these concessioners for about 11 years at the Cole Digges House until the restaurant closed in December after its owners and NPS could not come to terms on a contract to keep the restaurant in the building.

To fill the vacant building, NPS has issued a solicitation — known as a prospectus — for private businesses to submit proposals to use the building as a food and beverage operation during lunchtime hours. Other permitted services at the building include sale of alcoholic beverages, breakfast and dinner services, special events and sales of merchandise, however these items are not required by the future tenant.

The new contract will run for 10 years and is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, which is typically the last month until April that Colonial National Historical Park receives more than 300,000 visitors, according to the prospectus.

NPS estimates the new tenant will have to invest about $75,600 to get started at the house. Along with $36,700 of estimated personal property like cooking equipment and furniture, the new concessioner is projected to need about $32,800 to handle maintenance for the building and another $6,100 for inventory and supplies.

For the use of the building, NPS wants a minimum of 3 percent of the concessioner’s income as measured by gross receipts, according to the prospectus. Proposals that would give NPS more than 3 percent of gross receipt totals will also be considered.

The Cole Digges house was built around 1720 by Thomas Pate, a local ferryman and tavern keeper. The house survived the 1781 Siege of Yorktown and the Civil War and was restored in 1936 after NPS acquired the building.

A one-day site visit for prospective concessioners is scheduled for April 14. To participate in the visit, contact Lisa Monroe at 898-2406 or email her at for additional information. RSVP for the visit is due by 4 p.m. April 10. All questions regarding usage of the Cole Digges House are due in writing no later than April 30. Completed proposals are due by 4 p.m. June 9.

More information about the prospectus is available here.

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