Rhode Island Ready (RI Ready) continues to gain momentum as we grow our program across the state. Six new locations were approved by the Quonset Development Corp.’s (QDC) board of directors in August and September, bringing us to eleven total enrolled sites stretching from East Providence to North Kingstown.
Rhode Island Ready is a statewide industrial site readiness initiative backed by $40 million overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2021. The program is modeled after Quonset’s similar site readiness program, which has created more than 3,500 jobs and generated $664 million in private investment over the past decade across 14 developed sites and 36 companies.
The initiative will create an inventory of pre-permitted properties ready for industrial development, leading to job creation statewide. Enrolled sites will be provided technical assistance with engineering, permitting and other approvals along with support that will prepare sites for development activity. In total, the enrolled sites consist of approximately 135 acres of developable land that can accommodate over 1.6 million s/f of new development.
The six latest sites approved for RI Ready include:
• 9 Dexter Rd., East Providence
• 195 Francis Ave., Cranston
• 1347 Roger Williams Way, North Kingstown
• 649 Waterfront Dr., East Providence
• 275 Ferris Ave., East Providence
• 20 Goddard Rd., Cranston
These six new sites join 1307 Hartford Ave. in Johnston; 0 Comstock Pkwy. in Cranston; 40 Keyes Way in West Warwick; 550 Romano Vineyard Way at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown; and 1 Moshassuck St. in Pawtucket as enrolled RI Ready sites.
Site representatives will now work with the RI Ready team at Quonset to become “Rhode Island Ready.” In the next phase, RI Ready staff will work with site owners and municipalities to activate the sites for economic development, bringing new jobs and tax revenue to Rhode Island. This process involves expediting the permit and approval process for industrial sites by taking the uncertainty out of the development process, eliminating red tape and guaranteeing efficiency with unified development regulations.
Applicants are considered eligible for enrollment based on the following criteria:
• Sites that will allow for upgraded or improved infrastructure in support of an industrial district or area; or
• Sites that will allow an existing industrial use or facility to expand significantly; or
• Sites that are approximately 10 acres in size (or are capable of supporting an approximately 100,000 s/f building) and are:
• Zoned for industrial or offshore wind support uses, and;
• Located within one mile of a roadway designated by the state to support industrial traffic.
There are still fourteen applications under review for enrollment into the program, so we look forward to sharing more updates in the future.
To learn more about RI Ready or submit your application, please visit our website, www.RIReady.org.
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown, R.I.