Commerce Approves Tax Financing Deal for Hotel at Former Newport Yachting Center on Thames St.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


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RI Commerce Corporation voted on Monday to approve Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a new 80,000 square-foot mixed-use development in downtown Newport on the site of the old Newport Yachting Center.

The property was sold in 2014 by Newport Harbor Corporation to a syndicate headed by Colin Kane, the former chair of the 195 Commission and a principal in the Peregrine Group.

New Newport Project

The new project will consist of construction of a new, $28.3 million mixed-use facility which will include an 84-room hotel, 4,000 SF full-service waterfront restaurant, storefront retail (3,000 SF), and office space (1,000 SF). The estimated value of TIF agreement totals $3.5 million.

The project will be located on the 1.7-acre site in downtown Newport in a move that Commerce argues “will redevelop and activate an underutilized site on the Newport waterfront by improving public access to the waterfront and increase hotel and property taxes paid to the city.”

According to third-party economic impact analysis paid for by the developer, the project is expected to help generate 134 direct construction jobs, 84 direct ongoing jobs, $8.3 million in statewide economic output, and a gross increase of $7.7 million in other taxes (hotel, personal income, sales, and businesses) for the 12-year period.

Newport Harbor Corporation Issued the Following Statement:

“We have made a decision to sell the property we own on the downtown Newport waterfront. The primary reason we made this decision is to invest into our expanding restaurant and hotel operations, where we see excellent growth opportunities. However, we will continue to operate the Newport International Boat Show, the Charter Yacht Show, The Mooring, The Smoke House, and the Newport Yachting Center Private Events business at the Sunset Terrace, by leasing back the land from the new owner.

We have reluctantly made the decision to exit the concert and festival segments of our company. The current, local city noise ordinance is not designed for a concert business. We simply could not commit to a long-term lease and invest capital into an area that has such an unpredictable future. We remain committed to investing in the local island economy as we grow our remaining businesses in future years.”

- Paul O’Reilly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newport Harbor Corporation


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