December 16, 2016                                                           Vol. 201612
In This Issue
Speaker & Senate President: Quonset a Leading Engine of RI's Economy
Meet Quonset's New Port Director
D.E.M. Grant Helps Bring New Athletic Fields to North Kingstown
In the News

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House Speaker Mattiello &
 Senate President Paiva Weed:
Quonset a Leading Engine of RI's Economy

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello & 
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed

Rhode Island Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D - Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) and Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello (D- Dist. 15, Cranston) have bylined a new piece in the New England Real Estate Journal highlighting Quonset Business Park's success in 2016 and its impact on Rhode Island's economy. The General Assembly leaders emphasized   a recent study completed by Bryant University that showed Quonset adds $2.85 billion annually to the Rhode Island economy and $113.1 million in tax revenues for the local, state governments. 

"Quonset Business Park is one of the most important models for successful economic development that we have in Rhode Island. It proves that with both federal and state support we can leverage our assets to help more companies grow here and create more jobs for Rhode Islanders," the legislative leaders wrote. "Quonset's success is also the result of collaboration at all levels of government and public-private partnerships investing in the business park."

Today there are more than 200 companies and nearly 11,000 jobs at Quonset Business Park. Quonset's Port of Davisville is one of the leading auto importers in North America. Since 2005 more than $500 million in private investment has been made at the Park.

"Quonset is a shining example of all that is possible in our state. With its innovative site-readiness program and strategic lease incentives in place, continued growth at Quonset will help fuel robust economic development and job creation well into the future," the Speaker and Senate President added.

To see the full opinion piece, click here.

Meet Quonset's New Port Director
Robert Blackburn, Port Director

The Quonset Development Corporation is pleased to announce that Robert Blackburn will be joining the team as its new Port Director. Blackburn will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations and management of Quonset's Port of Davisville. The Port of Davisville is now one of the Top 10 auto importing sites in North America. Earlier this month the Port surpassed more than 200,000 autos arriving by sea for the second year in a row. 

Last month,
  voters overwhelmingly approved Question 5 on the ballot to invest in the success of the Port of Davisville with a $50 million bond to support the General Assembly and Governor Gina M. Raimondo's $90 million modernization plan for Pier 2 at the Port of Davisville. This investment will solidify Davisville's position as the premiere marine commercial gateway to New England, preserve hundreds of jobs in the maritime sector and keep Rhode Island competitive with other ports in the region. 

Mr. Blackburn comes to North Kingstown from Philadelphia, where he served for more than 23 years with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority in a variety of roles. Most recently, he was the Senior Deputy Executive Director. In addition to his deep experience in logistics, marketing, and port management, Robert has a successful track-record in establishing new business partnerships within the maritime industry.

"Robert brings a wealth of experience to Quonset and we look forward to having him join our team," said Steven King P.E., Managing Director of the QDC. 

"This is an extremely exciting time to be joining the QDC and the Port of Davisville as we embark on a major infrastructure initiative," Blackburn said.  "I have spent my entire career in port management and I look forward to sharing my skills and experience to continue the significant growth seen at Davisville in recent years." 

D.E.M. Grant Helps Bring 
New Athletic Fields to North Kingstown 
The new athletic fields at Quonset cover more than 22 acres

There may be snow in the forecast but the QDC team is already looking ahead to the warmer weather. Next year the North Kingstown multi-use athletic fields located within the Business Park will open in the Fall, but plenty of work has occurred over the past several months.  

Construction of the fields covering more than 22 acres near the intersection of Fletcher and Newcomb roads began in August.   Since then, the fields have been graded, fully seeded and grass is already sprouting. A new parking lot has also been created and the installation of fencing and a guard rail has been completed. Once the grass has fully matured in the summer months, North Kingstown families will be able to enjoy playing a variety of sports on the fields next autumn.

The project came to fruition thanks to a successful partnership between the Town of North Kingstown, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the QDC. The estimated cost of the project is $800,000 with the majority of the funding coming in the form of a $400,000 DEM Recreation Acquisition and Development grant. QDC provided an additional $200,000. The remaining funding and maintenance costs will be handled by the Town.