NEW CANAAN — The former Outback Teen Center has a new tenant.
The Board of Selectmen approved a lease agreement for New England Academy of Dance for the upper floor of the building at its Tuesday meeting. The selectmen previously approved a $44,000 contract, including a $4,000 contingency, to design the building renovations.
The Town Council also approved of the lease at its Jan. 16 meeting.
As a condition of the lease, the dance studio will only be allowed to operate in the upper floor from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
“It allows us the option to lease the space out during the day either permanently or temporarily,” Superintendent of Buildings Bill Oestmann said.
Town officials have said the lower level of the Outback center could be configured into office space for the Department of Human Services. Town Council Chair John Engel said several key factors in the decision were making sure the new tenant wouldn’t impact the human services department and finding a group that wouldn’t take up too much parking.
The dance studio will be able to move into their new space on July 1.
Town Council member Stephen Karl said approving the lease was important because of the building’s location.
“I don’t see any of the town boards or anybody looking to sell that building in the middle of our campus,” Karl said. “That’s what really brought us to this point.”
Council Member Cristina A. Ross, however, raised concerns about parking due to its proximity to town hall.
“The parking between the outback and town hall is pretty full on the regular basis during the week because of meetings,” she said.
Ross said she was worried this could block additional parking for officials going to town hall.
Oestmann said the lease allows for the dance studio to use municipal parking, but he does not see it becoming an issue as the studio is used by children who are typically dropped off by their parents.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will decide whether a parking study is required at its Jan. 29 meeting, Oestmann said.