Discover Newport, RI….located between New York City and Boston, MA, Newport is the hidden City by the Sea. Newport is celebrating its 375th birthday in 2014 and is booming on land and on sea.
Bellevue Avenue, home of the famed Gilded Age mansions once the summer playground for socialite families like the Astors and Vanderbilts has again been noticed by internationally renowned investors. Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation and the fifth wealthiest individual in the world, purchased The Astor's Beechwood Mansion in 2010 for $10.5 million. It is under construction and when complete will house his private art collection. In the sailing world, Ellison's Oracle Team USA won the 34th America's Cup in 2013. Oracle Team USA raced in Newport in June of 2012 when Newport hosted the qualifying races leading up to the 2013 America's Cup. Newport is a contender to host the next cup races.
Further along Bellevue Avenue, Belcourt of Newport, formerly Belcourt Castle, was purchased by Alex and Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian, in 2012 for $3.6 million. It has been undergoing extensive renovations to restore it to its former glory. It will eventually open as a tour house, art gallery, and event space. Alex and Ani is a RI based and internationally recognized jeweler that designs and creates bangle bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit.
At the commercial end of Bellevue Avenue, the Audrain Building, an architecturally significant building constructed in 1902-1903 designed by noted architect Bruce Price is also undergoing renovations. Purchased in 2013 for $5.5 million by Nicholas Schorsch, the chairman and CEO of American Realty Capital. When complete, the second floor of the Audrain Building will serve as summer headquarters for American Realty Capital while the ground floor will be an antique car museum.
At the north end of the city stands Newport Grand; a slots parlor. The owners of Newport Grand recently announced they are exploring a possible sale to former Providence Mayor, Joe Paolino; international entrepreneur and 1983 America's Cup challenger, Peter de Savery; and Boston real estate developer, Paul Roiff. The investment team will move forward with a purchase if it has permission to install table games at the former jai alai location overlooking the Newport Pell Bridge and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. This approval must be given by Newport voters who voted down table gaming in 2012. If approved, the investors are prepared to invest $40 million in renovations and will transform the building into a casino that resembles destinations in Monte Carlo.
Newport is as accessible by sea as by land! On any given weekend in the summer Newport plays host to sailboat regattas of all sizes. All summer long, kids as young as 8 years can be seen sailing Optimists, a small single-handed sailing dinghy, on Narragansett Bay. On June 20th, the 49th Newport Bermuda Race, a 635-mile ocean race, is set to start with 180 boats entered in the race. The Volvo Ocean Race, the world's premier around the world sailboat race held every three years, will land in Newport in 2015. Jazz, Folk and Classical Music Festivals all summer. You too can DISCOVER NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND !