Building prior to Just Dance tenancy
Building June 2008, prior to Just Dance becoming a tenant.

The Entire Just Dance Center Story

The picture at left shows the 52 Parker Street, Gardner building just prior to Just Dance becoming a Downtown tenant, which they did become in 2010. However, in August of 2017, the Gardner Redevelopment Authority purchased the properties at 42-50 and 52 Parker Street and Just Dance was informed that the property was acquired for the purpose of being marketed for redevelopment and that a sale could occur at any time. That was the day Just Dance knew they would eventually be moving. When the recent sale was announced, Mayor Nicholson met personally at his office with Just Dance owner Rebecca Wilson on November 15, 2021 and informed her how the City would be providing a relocation specialist.

Documents Show the Timeline

The following documents are provided to show the actual timeline involved, to demonstrate the huge amount of support provided by the City of Gardner to Just Dance Center, and to refute statements made by the Just Dance owner and family members which conflict with the facts set forth here.    We are publishing various documents including the following: Entire 6-1-22 Press Release from Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson in which the Mayor details the tremendous amount of support the City of Gardner has given to Just Dance. —— Email from R Wilson dated September 15, 2021 in which Rebecca Wilson expressed a desire to own the Parker Street building. —— –Email from R Wilson dated October 29, 2021 in which Rebecca Wilson asks the Mayor and Trevor Beauregard how much longer she has in her space. (Obviously she knew then that at some point she would have to move) —— A claim form signed by Rebecca Wilson on May 4, 2022 in which she acknowledges that she will be receiving $69,500 in moving expenses ——– The order of free cash of $80,000 providing a relocation specialist for Just Dance —— Just Dance Microenterprise Agreement to receive just under $20,000 ——- Just Dance Microenterprise Agreement to receive just over $5,000 ——-Documentation of Dance Studio searches from Realtor ——- Dance Studio Property Suggestions from Economic Development Department documenting locations suggested to or visited by Just Dance.

Thank  you to Mayor Nicholson and all in the City of Gardner who have provided such wonderful support to the Just Dance Center. We wish the Just Dance Center well in their upcoming new location and we will let you know when we have more information.

Just Dance sign coming down.
Just Dance Sign coming down May 31, 2022
Writings at Just Dance Center
Writings left on wall of Just Dance Center

From Mayor Nicholson, “Just Dance is reportedly looking at the property located at 69 Lincoln Street but first needs a variance for the parking requirements from the Zoning Board of Appeals and there are some questions as to whether or not such a use of the property would require that the building have a sprinkler system installed pursuant to the Commonwealth’s Fire and Building Codes. These actions and questions are still ongoing.”

69 Lincoln Street, Gardner, MA
Possible new location of Just Dance – see Property Record for 69 Lincoln Street, Gardner.

Just Dance Performing Arts Center Gardner MA to get New Home

Just Dance Center is out of the location on Parker Street in Downtown Gardner where it has been for 12 years. But it’s not leaving without controversy.

Just Dance owner Rebecca Wilson states she has paid rent every single month. Actual numbers show that from August 2017 to May 2022, the GRA expended $261,688.92 on the property with Just Dance paying a total of $73,000. Just Dance paid electricity, but GRA paid for gas, water, sewer, trash, property maintenance, insurance, and others, without extra charge to Just Dance. Just Dance received almost a $200,000 benefit over a period just under 5 years.

Despite a claim made that the City provided no support, the Free Cash approved by the Gardner City Council on December 20, 2021 for $80,000 was to be used to hire a relocation specialist. Since then, close to 30 properties were shown to Rebecca Wilson. The business also received Microenterprise funds totaling $25,000 and PPP loans as shown below.

Despite the issue of Just Dance Center moving being discussed in the media for the past few years, owner Rebecca Wilson today claimed she didn’t know about the need to move until December 2021. It is very clear from Mayor Nicholson’s Press Release that she knew in August 2017 that eventually she would have to move, nearly 5 years ago.

Despite receiving a recent check from the City of Gardner of $69,500 to assist in relocation and fit out costs for their new location, Social Media posts on June 1, 2022 continued to challenge whether the City had provided any support. Unfair public outrage was created towards the City and this publication until the actual facts could be publicized in their entirety and the matter laid to rest.

Just as other businesses did during the pandemic, Just Dance also received a PPP loan to help with payroll in the amount of $20,833.00. Complete PPP data for all Gardner businesses, click here.

With all of the financial support provided by the City of Gardner and with all the positive public sentiment expressed, Just Dance should have no problem succeeding in its new location.     A social media post showed goodbye messages from dancers on the walls and a statement saying, “Looking forward to bigger and better things to come.  Hoping to get our new space passed through the Gardner Zoning Board in June. More info in an email to come.”   Website, CLICK HERE. The Just Dance Center website shows Rebecca Wilson as the owner and lists 4 other employees.

Gardner Magazine reached out to Rebecca Wilson who stated she did not want to be interviewed. We informed her that the invitation was open and that we would be happy to promote their new location when announced.

The building in which the business was located had been sold by the Gardner Redevelopment Authority to a new owner who will be renovating it, a positive outcome for one of Gardner’s long-standing blighted buildings.  The transfer will not be a giveaway as there is a $900,000 grant covering some expenses, but Mass Ave. Realty is putting $4.2 million dollars of their own money into the project. Note however, that the City of Gardner records do not yet show that an actual sale has taken place. 52 Parker StreetProperty Record Card.  , but still show ownership by the Gardner Redevelopment Authority. Regarding the transfer, according to Mayor Nicholson, “However, to help make it so Just Dance! Had enough time to figure everything out, the GRA informed Mass Ave Realty that they would delay closing on the property until June 1st, in order to make sure Just Dance! Had until May 31st to find a new location. This is why the deed has not been recorded on the property yet….”

Gardner Magazine will keep you informed as to the progress of the new Just Dance location.

Back in November 2021: Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and other officials showed up in Gardner on Giving Tuesday to formally announce the $4.1 million MassWorks Grant, plus an award of over $900,000 for the NEW Underutilized Properties Program Grant.  The look of Downtown Gardner will improve again as some funds will be used to rehab the Temptations and Ryan Block Buildings at the corner of Parker and Connors Streets.

Mayor Nicholson has a stated goal of renovating buildings when feasible. When this solid building is put back into service it will enhance the look of Downtown.  At the time in November 2021, some citizens expressed concerns about the direct support of more retail store fronts by the City. Recent announcements about buildings sold to developers eager to renovate should easily lead to more available storefronts in Downtown Gardner.

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