Strong Performance Reflects "Outstanding Leadership" at QDC, Senate Group Says
Quonset is making "impressive progress," according to a recently released report by a State Senate commission convened to review the approval process for projects at the business park. "These results are a reflection of the outstanding leadership at the Quonset Development Corporation," the panel's report continued.
The commission report cited Quonset as home to 8,800 jobs at 164 companies on the former Navy base. "2,400 of those jobs were created in the last four years," the report said. "In the same time period, over $170 million in private investment has been made at the park."
Members of "The Special Legislative Study Commission to review the Project Approval Process for the Quonset Development Corporation" included representatives of the R.I. State Senate, the Town of North Kingstown, the State Division of Planning, the R.I. Economic Development Corporation and the QDC.
The commission discussed the Gateway project, a mixed-use development that will ultimately result in a total investment of $144 million at the Post Road site. Today, the successful project has created 300 new jobs in its very early stages, and produced increased tax revenue for the Town of North Kingstown and the state.
All the commission participants were "generally comfortable with the existing processes at the state and local levels" the report found.
North Kingstown Town Manager Michael Embury wrote that "The relationship between the parties is much improved" and offered a minor change to the current process. All parties were in general agreement on Embury's proposal, which would require the Town Planner to offer an opinion within 15 days about whether a project at Quonset complies with the Town's Comprehensive Plan. The final decision on whether to move forward with a project at the Business Park would remain solely with the QDC Board of Directors.
"We're pleased that an independent group has recognized the hard work and success of our team here at Quonset," said Steven J. King, P.E., managing director of the QDC. "We will continue to work with everyone to build on that momentum."
The panel was chaired by state Sen. James Sheehan (D - North Kingstown, Narragansett).
Quonset Gateway Celebrates
Grand Opening of Dave's Marketplace
Mixed-use community welcomes Rhode Island's largest independent grocer, spurs economic growth
Left to Right - Kirk Sykes, President and Managing Director of the USA Fund; Dave Cesario, founder and owner of Dave's Marketplace; Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts and State Rep. Larry Ehrhardt (R-North Kingstown)
The Gateway at Quonset celebrated the opening of another retail tenant on May 15, 2009 with the grand-opening ribbon cutting ceremony for local grocer Dave's Marketplace. Dave's Marketplace, which reflects New England style architecture, has almost 25,000 square feet of space and has been modeled after a Martha's Vineyard village to create a quaint atmosphere for shoppers.
The grand opening of this locally owned and operated grocery store comes just a few months after the opening of the Lowe's Home Improvement store in January, and Kohl's department store in October of 2008.
"The Quonset location is ideal for our new Dave's Marketplace. We look forward to serving the needs of the almost 9 thousand workers that come to the Business Park every day," said Bob Fabiano, Director of Store Development, Dave's Marketplace. "In addition, the Gateway at Quonset includes great open space for shoppers to stroll, there is direct easy access, and the combination of Kohl's and Lowe's will attract shoppers into the Gateway."
Deepwater Wind Signs Letter
of Intent with QDC
The Quonset Development Corporation and Deepwater Wind have signed a letter of intent for lease of 117 acres to use as a staging area, assembly site, and regional headquarters for an offshore wind farm facility. Deepwater says the $1.5 billion project is expected to create 800 jobs. On June 29, 2009, the QDC Board is expected to consider approval of a 10-year lease for three parcels in the business park that Deepwater would use to assemble the more than 100 turbines it plans to install in state and federal waters off the coast.
"Quonset, from a strategic point of view, is very important," said Bill Wall, company vice president of marine construction and operations.