Quonset port poised for more growth in 2019

Quonset is the leading engine of economic development in Rhode Island and home to more than 200 companies and nearly 12,000 full- and part-time jobs.

The business park saw significant growth in 2018, with investments in essential infrastructure and the construction of new company facilities.

2018 was another record-breaking year for Quonset’s Port of Davisville, which has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. The port achieved the seventh automobile import record in eight years, with 241,851 cars passing through throughout the year via a record-breaking 225 ship calls. The ongoing modernization of Pier 2 will position the port for additional success in 2019, including a greater role in imports for Rhode Island’s wind-energy industry.

The port last year was selected to join a new maritime highway initiative between the ports of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J. The Marine Highway Project will allow the port to begin a container-shipping operation, facilitating the port’s role on the new marine highway.

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At Quonset, we provide world-class infrastructure to each company that makes their home here – it is one of the secrets of our success. Quonset Development Corp. invested $56 million in infrastructure projects throughout the park in 2018. These upgrades included new gateway office buildings, renovations underway to Pier 2 and the development of our new flex industrial campus. Building one is now fully leased, with construction of the second building in progress.

Over the last 30-plus years, a total of $667 million in public investment at Quonset has generated more than $2 billion in private investment, $113.1 million in annual tax revenue and $2.85 billion in economic output every year. These infrastructure upgrades position Quonset to generate additional tax revenue and reduce the environmental impacts of a major industrial park, while supporting an environment that allows great companies to succeed in Rhode Island.

Quonset companies invested $340 million in state-of-the-art facilities at the park in 2018, a significant increase over the $16 million in private investment secured in 2017. The leasing of 50 acres of land and the construction of 655,180 square feet of new structures were key components in this influx of private capital.

QDC remains committed in 2019 to creating additional jobs, stimulating private-sector investment and creating an additional tax base.

Steven J. King is managing director of Quonset Development Corp. in North Kingstown.