Custom Design has called Quonset home for over twenty years - by Steven King

June 09, 2017 - Rhode Island
Steven King, Quonset
Development Corp.

Quonset Business Park often brings to mind some of the larger, better-known companies here like Electric Boat, Ocean State Job Lot, or Toray Plastics America. With shovel-ready parcels ranging from 1 to 43 acres, Quonset can accommodate businesses of all sizes. Currently there are nearly 11,000 people working here at over 200 companies, most of which are small businesses. Quonset is an ideal location for companies large and small to grow their success.

One of the companies that’s been here the longest, Custom Design, Inc. (CDI) recently completed a major renovation to their property. CDI is a full-service provider of “made-to-order” merchandising display and store fixtures. The company does everything from conceptual design, engineering, sample production, and manufacturing, to logistics and installation. CDI manufactures a variety of products from $10 wire racks at convenience stores to large-scale retail displays for international companies like Gucci and Ray Ban. Each project is handled from start to finish at their Quonset site.

“It has been incredible seeing the progress that we’ve made since we opened,” said Adam Dias, vice president at CDI. “It’s a testament to the teamwork and family atmosphere that we’ve worked so hard to cultivate. When we first moved into Quonset, we had 30 employees who were ready for larger and more complex projects. Our operation has now grown to 48 full-time staff, which can grow to more than 75 with larger projects. The additional square footage has unlocked our potential for sales growth.”

Adam’s father, Raul Dias, founded the company in 1976 and moved to Quonset in 1996 as the Navy was decommissioning its Davisville Construction Battalion. CDI was one of the first companies to establish itself in the Davisville portion of Quonset as it began its transformation into the successful business park we know today. Raul was attracted to the location and the availability of large commercial space where he and his team could build on their success.

Since opening their doors at Quonset over 20 years ago, CDI has invested millions of dollars into their building, which is one of the few remaining original Quonset-hut type structures still standing here. The building previously housed subcomponents of submarines and military equipment. The CDI team says that the unique structure suits their needs perfectly as it allows them to move products from design areas through the various stages of production and then out to customers seamlessly.

CDI now has 48 full-time employees, many of whom have been employed here for over 20 years. Employee counts fluctuate with project needs and the team uses for recruiting temporary employees.

“QuonsetJobs is a great tool because it connects us to skilled local talent that understands what we do,” said Dias. “The growth of Quonset Business Park and the support of the Quonset Development Corp. has been great for our team. The work that the QDC does to promote, maintain, and develop the park makes us proud to call Quonset home.”

Services like QuonsetJobs are just one of the many reasons that Quonset has established itself as a leading place to grow your business. With our world class infrastructure, centralized location, and easy access to major airports, it’s easy to see why Quonset is attractive to businesses with diverse needs. Another key draw for companies coming to Quonset is our innovative site-readiness program. The QDC has completed all the permitting and engineering that a developer would require as part of “due diligence” to get a project under way, and businesses can begin construction within 90 days of taking site control. We also offer two standard lease incentives for new land leases at the park. The first incentive is based on the length of the term of the lease (50 years), while the second is based on employment and wages at the company. 

The QDC is committed to helping businesses at Quonset succeed and creating an environment that fosters growth and development. Custom Design’s experience proves that Quonset is a smart place to build a successful business. 

Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown.



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