For the second week in a row, Newport City Council was scheduled to convene in Executive Session to discuss the acquisition or lease of the Armory on Lower Thames Street and two other city-owned properties.

Update: 7:58 am 1/31/18

Laura Swistak from City Administration notified the Secretary of State’s Office at 4:11 pm on Tuesday, January 30th that the Executive Session scheduled for February 1st has been canceled, according to website records. As of January 31st, there had not been another Executive Session meeting posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

It is unknown why the meeting was canceled, but City Council and City Administration have been facing a lot of feedback regarding the process and more than 750 have signed a petition to stop the sale.

Original Story: 20:07 1/29/18

For the second week in a row, Newport City Council will convene in Executive Session to discuss the acquisition or lease of the Armory on Lower Thames Street and two other city-owned properties.

A notice that City Council would meet in Executive Session was posted on the Secretary of State’s Website on January 29th,  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 Thursday, February 1st at 5:30 pm.

Newport City Council voted to go into executive session after their Regular Council Meeting on Wednesday, January 24th to discuss the same properties. City Manager Joe Nicholson did state (when asked by a Councilor that night) 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.

The next Regular Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 14th.

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.

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.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

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