Quonset Business Park may be located in the smallest state in the nation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t pack a manufacturing punch. Recently, we were ranked the 6th best industrial park in America by Business Facilities Magazine. Rhode Islanders know Quonset as one of the state’s leading engines of economic development and job creation, but how did we become one of the top business parks in the country?
Once home to two World War II naval bases, Quonset today hosts over 200 companies that employ 12,200 people. Quonset has grown rapidly since 2005; generating $1.2 billion in private investment and creating nearly 7,000 jobs. The manufacturing sector has grown consistently at the Park - Quonset is home to 17% of all manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island. Quonset’s average wage is also 19% higher than the statewide average.
There are a variety of reasons why Quonset is a nation-leading industrial park.
1. Quonset’s greatest strength has always been in the variety of facilities and world-class infrastructure available to companies. Quonset can support large, high-tech industrial operations, support growing businesses with the state-of-the-art Flex Industrial Campus as well as support start-ups, small businesses and professional service companies in the Gateway Office Complex. Whatever a company’s needs, Quonset can deliver world-class infrastructure to support their goals.
2. The remaining available land at Quonset can accommodate up to 3.6 million s/f of new construction, and it’s easy to become Quonset’s newest company. Our site readiness program makes pre-permitted and pre-engineered parcels available, allowing businesses to get “shovels in the ground” within 90 days of site control, a remarkably short time frame. There’s no red tape at Quonset.
3. Quonset’s location in North Kingstown places businesses in the heart of the Northeast, giving them access to the East Coast’s largest customer markets in Boston and New York.
4. Quonset’s location places companies at the heart of major shipping and travel routes in the region. The onsite Port of Davisville, a top 10 auto importer in North America, provides public access to a world-class port facility. Quonset also affords access to freight rail lines, with 14 miles of track in the park itself. Minutes from both RI Rte. 4 and I-95 highways, Quonset provides easy access to three airports – Rhode Island T.F. Green International (RI), Logan International (MA), and Bradley International (CT) and train routes like the MBTA and Amtrak.
5. Quonset is a leader in green energy initiatives. The park has hosted the construction of some of the nation’s most ambitious wind energy projects, including the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island. Meanwhile, the Quonset Development Corp.’s offices run on 100% clean energy.
6. To attract the best talent, you have to be a place where people want to work. The park is home to a public 18-hole golf course, four public beaches, a bike path, a daycare facility and a free express bus shuttle service that connects to Providence in partnership with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. The Gateway Plaza also includes shopping options like Dave’s Marketplace grocery store and Kohls. These amenities create an attractive environment for employees while benefiting our neighbors, as well.
QDC appreciates Business Facilities Magazine recognizing Quonset’s success on a national scale, and the hard work it takes to make Quonset Business Park accessible for companies large and small.
Read more from Business Facilities Magazine about Quonset’s ranking: https://businessfacilities.com/2021/08/business-facilities-2021-metro-rankings-report/
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown, RI.