Synergy amongst Quonset Business Park residents

August 13, 2009 - Rhode Island

Steven King, Quonset Development Corp.

With a number of successful companies represented at Quonset, the possibilities are endless for how some of them might do business with each other.
We've seen one interesting example of those potential relationships, between the commercial lighting design and engineering company ICON International, and Dave's Marketplace, located at the Shops at Quonset Point.
ICON was hired by popular local grocery store Dave's to design and implement lighting for its produce section, the check-out stands, and the signage décor at the store. It's a prime example of one Quonset business finding a client in its own backyard.
That particular arrangement started when ICON recognized it had something valuable to offer Dave's, and Dave's realized good lighting would create a warm, welcoming ambiance at the Quonset store while also saving money.
Instead of fluorescent bulbs, ICON specializes in LED lights, which stands for "light-emitting diodes." They are a gentler form of lighting that is particularly good for produce at a grocery store. Because they don't emit heat or ultra-violet rays, which can speed up the ripening process, they can help extend the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Using ICON technology saves money and energy. "An LED uses half the amount of electricity as the typical light," said Michael Goeller, Icon chief operating officer. "The life of the LED is probably ten years, compared to two years."
Good lighting can also create a customer-friendly ambiance.
"Lights are theater," said Goeller. "In a new building, of all the stuff that goes into a structure, lights are really the only thing you see. Everything else is behind the walls and ceiling. It creates the atmosphere."
For the shops at the Gateway - Quonset Business Park's front entrance and shopping center - good lighting can enhance the customer experience and encourage employees and local Rhode Islanders to shop frequently.
ICON's national headquarters is located at the Quonset Business Park. Administration, design, Research and Development and some manufacturing all take place in the 175,000 s/f. Icon has been in existence since 1947 and currently has 31 employees. Two of those were added within the last month, which says a lot in an economy like this.
Goeller says the Quonset location has many attractions for ICON. "The area is not congested. It's close to major highways. It's just a great place to work," he said. "The development on the other side of the road, with Dave's and Kohl's, is exciting. I have lunch at Dave's every day, and the Kohl's is a really nice store. It's so convenient for us."
So, while ICON was able to garner a client within the park itself, employees from Quonset's many businesses have likewise enjoyed the offerings of Dave's, Lowe's and Kohl's, which all have stores at the Gateway. With such a wealth of good work being done at Quonset, we hope to see many more business relationships spring forward in the future from within the park itself.
On another topic, I want to note a much anticipated accomplishment that took place this past month at the Business Park.
On July 17, QDC held a ribbon-cutting for the highly anticipated shared-used bike path. The new 2.5-mile trail, financed by QDC and the R.I. Department of Transportation, runs along the perimeter of the Business Park from Post Rd. to the pristine Calf Pasture Point Nature Preserve and waterfront.
From day one we have endeavored to incorporate public access into the park, and the bike path represents and extraordinary opportunity for all Rhode Islanders to enjoy some of the most beautiful, untouched areas of our state.
Now that the path is open, cyclists and pedestrians can enjoy the beautifully landscaped, scenic route, either as recreation or even as part of a daily commute.
Steven King, P.E., is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown.
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