Petition launched to stop the sale of the Armory on Thames Street

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Following the announcement that Newport City Council will convene in Executive Session for the second week in a row to discuss the acquisition or lease of the Armory on Lower Thames Street and two other city-owned properties, Friends of The Waterfront has launched a change.org petition to stop the proposed sale of the Lower Thames Street property.

According to their website, Friends of the Waterfront (FOW) is a grassroots 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1983 by concerned Newport, Rhode Island citizens to insure continued public access to the Newport harbor front at a time when developers threatened to turn public access to private and to block nearly all access to the waterfront. These enduring public access pathways can be traced back to the colonial era.

The petition, named Reject the Proposed Sale of the Historic Newport, RI Armory Building at 365 Thames Street, states;

The city of Newport is negotiating to sell the historic Armory building to the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) for a little less than $2 million. “The National Sailing Hall of Fame has consistently failed to meet their obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding with the state,” as has been reported by the Maryland Governor’s office.

We the taxpayers should be able to discuss and debate the sale of this historic landmark. The sale of the building contradicts some of the objectives put forward by both the 2017 Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the Open Space Plan for the harbor’s public walkways, public boat launch area and public access in general to the waterfront.

Friends of the Waterfront support the idea of NSHOF in Newport, but not with the sale of the Armory. Please join Friends of the Waterfront (FOW) and Reject the sale of the Armory building to National Sailing Hall of Fame and sign this petition.

FOW’s mission is to protect public access along the Newport waterfront.

www.newportwaterfront.org

Friends of The Waterfront also sent the following email out to supporters on Tuesday morning;

Reject the Proposed Sale of the  Historic Armory Building 365 Thames Street Newport, Rhode Island

The city of Newport is negotiating to sell the historic Armory building to the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) for a little less than $2 million. “The National Sailing Hall of Fame has consistently failed to meet their obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding with the state,” as has been reported by the Maryland Governor’s office.

We the taxpayers should be able to discuss and debate the sale of this historic landmark.

The sale of the building contradicts some of the objectives put forward by both the 2017 Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the Open Space Plan for the harbor’s public walkways, public boat launch area and public access in general to the waterfront.

Friends of the Waterfront (FOW) support the idea of NSHOF in Newport, but not with the sale of the Armory.

Please join Friends of the Waterfront and  Reject the sale of the Armory Building to National Sailing Hall of Fame and  Sign this Petition.
Please join us in our objection to this proposal.

FOW’s mission is to protect public access along the Newport waterfront
www.newportwaterfront.org

You can also send a letter of objection Newport City Council ~ City Hall ~ 43 Broadway ~ Newport, RI 02840 or email them in addition to signing the petition
City Council email addresses:
hwinthrop@cityofnewport.com
staylor@cityofnewport.com
lceglie@cityofnewport.com   KateLeonar@icloud.com
jnapolitano@cityofnewport.com   jbova@cityofnewport.com  marcoforward1@gmail.com

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For more information and to see the petition, Reject the Proposed Sale of the Historic Newport, RI Armory Building at 365 Thames Street.

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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