IMC, Newport’s Contemporary Ballet, announced today that it has formally closed on the purchase of the property at 435 Broadway in Newport.

The site last housed the George H. Triplett School and administration building prior to being decommissioned in 2013. The agreement, which was finalized on December 1st, highlight’s a unique public,  private, and non-profit partnership that will result in the development of four single-family homes, and the construction of the company’s Center for Arts, Dance & Education. 

“Over our storied, 41-year history, we have operated without the benefit of a permanent home, presenting world-class performance at Newport’s iconic mansions, landscapes, and public spaces, while operating out of rented facilities. Now, our company is poised to open a new era of innovation and service to our community through the creation of our Center for Arts, Dance & Education” said IMC’s Executive Director, Peter Bramante.  

Bramante added, “As Newport’s resident, professional, contemporary ballet company, we couldn’t be more excited by the opportunity to build an appropriately outfitted space to provide our community with the highest quality dance performance and education programs for the people of Newport County and across Rhode Island. It’s the final phase of  a ten-year dream!” 

As part of a multi-year strategic plan, IMC’s board of directors and company leadership identified the need to develop a permanent home in Newport back in 2012. A multi-phased plan, appropriately titled Choreographing Our Future was designed, approved, and adopted by the IMC board in 2017. The plan paved the way to purchase the property from the City of  Newport and a purchase & sales agreement was penned in July of 2018. 

Predevelopment design and site engineering were completed in 2020, however, the pandemic greatly impeded the project’s review and approval process. Following a return to the City of Newport’s regulatory reviews, the project won unanimous approval from the  City’s Zoning & Planning Boards in late 2021. IMC closed on the property on December 1st

“After years of searching for an appropriate location, the property at 435 Broadway meets all of IMC’s key criteria and will settle our Center in the heart of the community we serve, I  couldn’t be more thrilled!” said IMC Board Chair, Martha Parker. 

Through a unique public, private, and nonprofit partnership with the City of Newport, IMC  agreed to purchase the former Triplett School property for $900,000. Immediately upon the sale, IMC transferred one-half of the property to private real estate developer, Teri  Degnan. Degnan will develop four single-family homes to the rear of the site, and IMC will develop its Center for Arts, Dance & Education fronting Broadway.

Teri Degnan, Newport resident, owner, and operating broker of Teri Degnan Real Estate &  Consulting, will be spearheading the development of the property abutting IMC’s center  that the Zoning Board has approved for the development of four single-family home lots. 

“It’s been a long road, but partnering with Island Moving Company and the City of Newport throughout this five-year journey, and to finally see it come to fruition, has been well worth the wait,” says Teri Degnan. “We’ve remained committed to our shared vision of responsibly readapting this acreage into a place where IMC can fully thrive as the community’s preeminent center for arts, dance & education, alongside land for residential development and we’re excited to move forward,” said Degnan. 

IMC proposes to develop the property in accordance with the City’s Comprehensive Community Plan, furthering community goals. IMC’s proposed Center for Dance & Education will occupy an 8,000 sq. ft. footprint and will have @ 14,000 sq. ft. of internal space on three levels. It will feature a community green space (“Pocket Park”) fronting  Broadway, a dedicated bus stop, 39 on-site parking spaces and be fully ADA compliant. When completed, IMC’s new home will house its professional company of dancers, administrative offices, costume & production departments, and expanded facilities and  studios for its pre-professional school (Newport Academy of Ballet). As part of its  agreement with the City, IMC will pay annual property taxes on its parcel. 

Project partners for IMC’s proposed Center for Dance & Education are all based on  Aquidneck Island and include- FJS Associates, Ltd., Newport Collaborative Architects,  Northeast Engineers, Verde Design & Horticulture, and J-2 Construction. 

IMC’s Artistic Director, Danielle Genest noted “The Center will provide Newport County’s  only professionally outfitted and flexible performance space with seating for 180 patrons.  In addition to housing IMC’s professional performances, the performance space will be  available to local arts and cultural groups for presentation of music, theatre, or dance as  well as lectures, meetings, and other community events.” Genest added “the Center will  open the door to greater collaboration with other key Newport nonprofits, and many  independent artists and teaching artists who struggle to find affordable workspaces in  Newport County.” 

“Our goal is to not only secure a bright future for IMC, but to expand opportunity and  resources available to other local artists and arts-based organizations, as well as increase  access to dance and further encourage the practice of arts for the benefit of our  community.” said Bramante. 

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