Development of East Providence marine terminal gains $15M in Rebuild Rhode Island incentives

THE SOUTH QUAY Marine Terminal in East Providence, at right, will receive up to $15 million in Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits to support development of facilities for offshore wind projects. / COURTESY RI WATERFRONT ENTERPRISES LLC
THE SOUTH QUAY Marine Terminal in East Providence, at right, will receive up to $15 million in Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits to support development of facilities for offshore wind projects. / COURTESY RI WATERFRONT ENTERPRISES LLC

EAST PROVIDENCE – A city waterfront area called the South Quay Marine Terminal will be redeveloped to support offshore wind developments, using up to $15 million in state incentives. The Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits authorized Thursday will enable the $103 million in improvements to move forward.

The project, put forth by property owner RI Waterfront Enterprises LLC, will involve construction of a 1,020-foot linear bulkhead and two deep-water berths. An extension to an existing dock will be used for ferry, fire and harbormaster purposes, according to the R.I. Commerce Corp., which approved the plan in a meeting Thursday.

The work also will include construction of a concrete platform to accept heavy cargo, as well as a second concrete platform to support a heavy-load-bearing crane. Development of the site, now a vacant fill area, will include several smaller buildings and a small warehouse.

The 45-acre site, off Veterans Memorial Parkway, was purchased by RI Waterfront Enterprises for $4.5 million in June 2019, according to real estate records. The company is headquartered in Boston.

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In documents provided to the R.I. Commerce Corp., the developer said the total cost of the improvements is estimated at $103.4 million.

In addition to the Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits, which at $15 million would hit a project maximum set by the General Assembly, the marine terminal will qualify for an exemption of state sales tax on materials purchased for the work.

Construction is expected to take place over the next two years, according to an economic analysis.

When completed, the terminal will support activities relating to the development and operation of Revolution Wind, as well as other potential offshore projects.

According to R.I. Commerce documents, Revolution Wind is dependent on the availability of on-shore facilities such as the proposed marine terminal.

Revolution Wind is expected to directly create 1,592 jobs, as well as 469 jobs indirectly,  through its construction phase. After the wind farm is operational, it is expected to support 63 jobs.

In providing up to $15 million, the state anticipates fiscal benefits that would include: an annual increase in state gross domestic product of $2.48 million and cumulative increases of $3.8 million in state personal income, as well as additional capacity in state port facilities.

The project site is adjacent to another area where RI Waterfront Enterprises last year proposed to create an outdoor entertainment amphitheater. The status of that project, through Live Nation Entertainment, was unclear.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at MacDonald@PBN.com.

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