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Open for New Business: Quonset approves 4 “RI Ready” sites

Sites in Johnston, W. Warwick, Cranston and N. Kingstown are the first to participate in the new statewide $40 million economic development initiative

Four Rhode Island industrial sites were approved for enrollment in the Rhode Island Ready program by the Quonset Development Corporation’s (“QDC”) board of directors at a recent meeting. Rhode Island Ready is a statewide industrial site readiness initiative backed by $40 million overwhelmingly approved last year by the voters.

RI Ready will create an inventory of pre-permitted properties ready for industrial development and job creation throughout the state. Enrolled sites are provided technical assistance with engineering, permitting and other pre-development approvals along with activities to prepare the site for development activity.

“It is exciting to see approval for the first four sites in this program,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The RI Ready initiative is building momentum, and in the very near future, we will see new or expanded businesses at those sites. I want to thank the municipal leaders in Johnston, West Warwick, Cranston and North Kingstown for supporting these project sites and making a crucial investment in their city or town – and the entire state. I look forward to following the progress as these properties become ready for industrial development and job creation.”

“We are pleased to enroll this initial group of properties in the RI Ready program,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, who chairs the QDC board. “This is the first step in preparing up to 45 acres of industrial land for private investment — and, if owners’ plans advance, for future development. This action also adds to Rhode Island’s momentum as we lead the region in its COVID-era economic recovery.”

The four sites approved Tuesday:

1307 Hartford Avenue, Johnston

0 Comstock Parkway, Cranston

40 Keyes Way, West Warwick

550 Romano Vineyard Way at the Quonset Business Park, North Kingstown

With the support of their host city or town, representatives of the four sites will work with R.I. Ready program staff at Quonset to become “RI READY”. RI Ready is managed by the QDC, with decision-making resting with the QDC Board of Directors. QDC staff is spearheading the effort, led by Program Manager Chelsea Siefert who also serves as Quonset’s Director of Planning and Development.

“We are excited to get to work helping the first four industrial sites get shovel ready,” said Siefert. “Rhode Island Ready is off to a strong start and we look forward to working with more private business owners and municipalities to bring new jobs, tax revenue and activate sites for economic development across Rhode Island.”

RI Ready is based on Quonset’s successful “Site Readiness” program which provides pre-permitted, pre-engineered sites to new or expanding businesses at Quonset which are shovel ready within 90 days of signing a lease. In the past decade, the program has led to the creation of over 3,500 jobs and $664 million in private investment across 14 developed sites and 36 companies.

“The program has taken the uncertainty out of the development process, eliminating red tape and guaranteeing efficiency with unified development regulations,” said Siefert.

Overall, Quonset is home to over 12,000 jobs at more than 200 companies and is the leading engine of job growth and economic development in Rhode Island.

The criteria for RI Ready site eligibility include:

Sites that will allow for upgraded or improved infrastructure in support of an industrial use.

Sites that will allow an existing industrial use or facility to expand significantly.

Sites that are approximately 10 acres in size (or are capable of supporting an approximately 100,000 square foot building) and are:

Zoned for industrial or off-shore wind support uses.

Are within one mile of a designated State Highway.

“Pathway to Green” will be the model for RI Ready, with each step on the pathway represented by the colors Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green.

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