Quonset heads into 2015 on a high note

January 08, 2015 - Rhode Island

Steven King, Quonset Development Corp.

As New Englanders celebrate the arrival of 2015, Quonset Business Park is headed into the New Year with continued momentum. Now home to almost 200 companies with more than 10,000 full-time and part-time jobs, Quonset is seen as a key driver of job creation and economic growth in Rhode Island. Its Port of Davisville is one of the Top Ten auto-importers in North America and since 2005, more than 4,000 jobs have been created within the Park.
The continued growth at Quonset has been reflected by several major announcements at the Park over the past year. The most significant was when governor Gina Raimondo, Former governor Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island's Congressional delegation and general assembly leaders gathered at the park in December to celebrate the fact that more than 10,000 people are now working at Quonset Business Park and its Port of Davisville. The announcement was a major milestone for the state and former naval air station and construction battalion base.
"Quonset Business Park is one of Rhode Island's greatest assets and an example of how we can grow more jobs in our state," governor Raimondo said at the time. "Its success is more than just one industry, or one company. It is about sound investments, and a team at the Quonset Development Corporation working with companies to help them grow, create jobs and opportunities for Rhode Island families."
There were several other major headlines to celebrate at Quonset this past year. In March we announced a 50-year lease with Greencore USA to become a new tenant at Quonset Business Park. As part of the agreement, the convenience food manufacturer is building a 107,000 s/f facility onsite, bringing close to 400 new employees to the Business Park. Within 90 days of signing their lease, Greencore broke ground on the site and they have already begun hiring new employees to work at the facility. We look forward to their grand opening early this year.
Another highlight, was the delivery of the first Honda automobiles to arrive at the Port of Davisville. The shipment of Honda Fits, were manufactured in Honda's new plant in Celaya, Mexico. The growing auto-import business at the Port of Davisville supports hundreds of jobs, including those at North Atlantic Distribution, Inc. (NORAD), the finisher, processor and distributor of new automobiles for the manufacturers. The Port of Davisville is one of the Top Ten auto importing sites in North America and preliminary figures from 2014 indicate yet another record setting year for autos arriving by sea at the Port of Davisville.
We are also very excited to have announced in 2014 that the Quonset Development Corporation signed a 25-year lease to make Edesia a new tenant at Quonset Business Park. A ready-to-use food aid producer and non-profit organization, the company will build a new facility which could be as large as 85,000 s/f and house between 75 and 100 employees. The new facility could also be expanded another 25,000 s/f in the future. Edesia plans to break ground on their new building this spring.
These are just a few of the great growth stories coming out of Quonset as 2015 gets underway. With close to 200 companies and 10,000 people working at the park, we have many more to tell. We invite you to come be a part of this growth and learn how we can help your company succeed.
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown.
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