Newport City Council could be one step closer to selling the Armory on Lower Thames Street by the end of Wednesday night.
As Newport This Week first reported on January 11th, an agreement to relocate the National Sailing Hall of Fame to the Newport Armory on Thames Street could be finalized by February. Talks of the National Sailing Hall Of Fame moving from Annapolis, MD to Newport have been in talks since October of last year. Newport This Week also reported that the possible sale price for the property for the National Sailing Hall of Fame has not been revealed by City Officials but they were told by the Gary Jobson, President of the National Saling Hall Of Fame, that the sale price was around $2 million.
[Read Newport This Week‘s full story here – City Closing in on Sailing Hall of Fame]
Before the talks of the National Sailing Hall of Fame moving from Annapolis to Newport, there were no reports or rumors that the City was looking to sell the Armory. Leases for the current tenants of the property reportedly ended at the end of 2017 and all are currently on month-to-month lease agreements.
A notice that City Council would meet in Executive Session was posted on the Secretary of State’s Website, it states that Council will discuss the “lease or publicly held property” located at 365 Thames Street (Armory), 15 Cranston Avenue (Calvert School) and 130 Van Zandt Avenue (Coggeshall School) on Wednesday, January 24th.
There have been no recent reports that the City is shopping Calvert School or Coggeshall School.
Newport City Council was already scheduled to host a Regular Council Meeting on Wednesday, January 24th. The notice of the closed meeting to discuss the property was not linked to on the City of Newport’s website or on the January 24th agenda.
According to their website, The National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture; honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing; the teaching of math, science and American history; inspiring and encouraging sailing development; and providing an international landmark for sailing enthusiasts. The NSHOF is partnered with US SAILING and the U.S. Naval Academy, and is associated with the Herreshoff Marine Museum, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and yacht clubs throughout the country in its efforts to recognize role models of outstanding achievement.
Update: 8:18 pm on Wednesday, January 24th
At the end of their Regular Council Meeting this event, Newport City Council did vote unanimously (at approximately 58:00 in the video below) to discuss the lease or disposition of publicly held property in Executive Session. City Manager Joe Nicholson did state (when asked by a Councilor) about what would be happening in the closed meeting that only information was being shared tonight in that meeting and no decisions would be made tonight.