State Rep. Joseph McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), along with several other members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, toured the Quonset Business Park recently to learn more about the economic growth, new jobs and development underway there.
McNamara toured the park with Steven King, managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC).
Quonset Business Park is already one of the premiere business parks in New England and one of the largest in the Northeast. It is a main driver of economic growth and job creation in Rhode Island. Quonset is home to 175 companies, employing more than 9,500 people in both full-time and part-time jobs in every sector of the economy. The Port of Davisville is consistently one of the top 10 auto importers in North America. The Business Park has added more than 3,500 new jobs since 2005.
“It is hard to argue with success, and the development and growth at Quonset is a true success story. With nearly 200 companies and nearly 10,000 jobs at this one site – and the potential for more growth – Quonset is truly an economic gem in our state,” McNamara said. “I compliment the Quonset Development Corporation for what they have been able to achieve and I look forward to even brighter days for Quonset.”
Although the Business Park is over 3,200 acres, there are just 293 acres remaining available for development at Quonset.
The legislators’ visit comes at an exciting time for the Business Park. Last month, Gov. Lincoln Chafee helped “flip the switch” on New England’s most powerful solar rooftop array, located in the West Davisville area of the park. In September, BankNewport broke ground on a new branch to be located at Quonset, and in August, the governor opened the doors on The Gateway Offices at Quonset Business Park.
The Gateway Offices are a new initiative launched by the QDC to provide modern, state-of-the-art office space for small business start-ups or other small businesses. The new building is already fully leased and the QDC Board of Directors recently approved construction of a second building to open in 2014.
Earlier this year, Chafee and the Rhode Island congressional delegation joined with leaders from North Atlantic Distribution, Inc (NORAD) and the QDC to announce a major expansion of business at the Port of Davisville. The announcement, that Honda will begin shipping autos to the Port of Davisville starting in 2014, is another sign of growth in the Port’s emergence as one of the largest auto-importers on the continent. The autos will be finished and processed by North Atlantic Distribution, Inc.
“We look forward to working with members of the General Assembly in 2014 and thank them for taking the time to come and see our work here,” said King. “With less than 300 acres left for development, we continue to grow, and look forward to sharing our story with more legislators and our fellow Rhode Islanders.”