New pre-permitting program makes doing business easier

April 10, 2012 - Rhode Island

Steven King, Quonset Development Corp.

It has long been our goal at Quonset Development Corp. (QDC) to make it easier for existing businesses to expand here and for entrepreneurs to discover that there is no better place to establish a business. We know that business owners aren't impressed by hearing about a good game, they want to see one. And to succeed in the current economic landscape, they need practical tools that will save them time and money. They want to find better ways to become more efficient, and find ways to improve the bottom line.
That is why the QDC has teamed up with various state agencies on an innovative "Site-Readiness" program and has established a streamlined and expedited permitting process. Already, the results of the program are measurable, as 35 pad-ready sites in the Quonset Business Park are ready for immediate development by future tenants.
This program is a proactive effort to capitalize on the public and private investments that have been made at Quonset in recent years. Long considered one of the premier business parks in New England and one of the largest in the Northeast, Quonset Business Park is now home to 168 companies, employing more than 8,800 people.
Only 350 acres remain available for development at Quonset and the 35 parcels that are part of this program have been pre-permitted and pre-engineered for immediate development. Demand for space at Quonset is high, and we see this program as a way to directly build on our economic success that has been gaining momentum over the past several years here. Consider that since 2006, more than 2,700 jobs have been created at Quonset, an unprecedented level of job growth in Rhode Island.
The QDC partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) to pre-permit each parcel to meet environmental requirements. The QDC also worked closely with building and zoning experts to pre-engineer the parcels to anticipate likely uses for a variety of industries. As a result, a due diligence package has been prepared for each parcel that includes a complete review of the property. This package includes an environmental Phase I review, geotechnical soils review and borings, utility availability and capacity analysis, concept site plans and permits, and a land title review.
The "Site-Readiness" program comes on the heels of several initiatives that have served to fuel the growth of business at Quonset, including the creation of a "Quonset Zone." This designated area is a single zoning district assigned to the Quonset Business Park as part of an agreement for uniform development regulations between the town of North Kingstown and the QDC.
Developers, accustomed to encountering red tape and endless regulatory hurdles at every turn, are finding the Quonset Business Park to be a very business-friendly place to do business. The unified process means that all development and re-development projects in the park can proceed at a faster pace than ever before. In conjunction with the zoning district designation, officials at the QDC have also amended our Master Plan to adopt uniform regulations.
Bold initiatives as the "Site Readiness" program and "Quonset Zone" help us deliver our message loud and clear: We want your business. And we are determined to do what we can to help you clear the regulatory hurdles as quickly as possible so that you can get on with the business of running your business.
The Quonset Business Park is home to 168 companies, employing approximately 8,800 people, and its Port of Davisville is the 7th largest auto-importer in North America.
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown.

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