Hall votes for Annapolis or Newport

Published on October 16th, 2018

Annapolis, MD (October 16, 2018) – A vote this afternoon could signal the end of the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s time in Annapolis.

Sailing Hall President Gary Jobson said the 26-member board will convene today via teleconference. There is a motion to accept or reject an offer from Newport, R.I. to purchase the Armory Building, a waterfront property for $1.68 million.

Jobson said the board held a conference call October 10 to hear presentations for keeping the hall in Annapolis or moving to Newport. Today’s vote will involve a roll call and members will also confirm their vote in an email to the board.

While Jobson said he’s not sure how the vote will play out, there is an effort to keep the hall in Annapolis.

“There are several (board members) in Annapolis that are pushing really hard to simply delay Newport,” Jobson said.

A delay could hamper Newport’s prospect, Jobson said. The Newport City Council has to vote to change zoning at the Armory Building to allow its use as a museum.

The state of Maryland owns the hall’s existing space on City Dock. It houses the hall’s offices. Plans to build a hall of fame on the site have not materialized due to fundraising shortcomings.

Gov. Larry Hogan said yesterday the state wants to surplus the property so it can be sold. Jobson said the site was valued at $3.1 million in 2017 county assessment.

Hogan said his preference is transferring ownership to the city of Annapolis. If the hall’s board decides to stay in Maryland, Jobson said it will explore purchasing the Captain Burtis House. A new venue off City Dock is also an option, he said.

If Newport is chosen, Jobson said the deal would close in 60-90 days. It would take about a year to refurbish the Armory before the hall moves in.

Source: Capital Gazette

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