R.I. approves $600K for 16 site-readiness projects

PROVIDENCE – R.I. Commerce Corp. has awarded 16 site-readiness awards across 11 communities totaling up to $600,000, Gov. Daniel J. McKee said Thursday.

The program, created in the fiscal 2020 state budget, partners R.I. Commerce Corp. with municipalities, companies or developers to spur projects across the state and to improve the municipal-development process. This round of awards will fund municipal technical assistance and site-specific planning improvements to catalyze economic-development projects in these communities.

“In the context of the region and nation, Rhode Island’s economic recovery has been strong,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “This site-readiness program will help to sustain and advance it. The initiative will do so by helping prepare needed sites for development across 11 cities and towns in our state.”

Grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000.

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The recipients were:

  • The Incred-A-Bowl Food Co.: $10,000 for the buildout of their building at 1075 South Broadway in East Providence which they purchased in November 2021. The building was a former meat market that they are looking to turn into a restaurant.
  • Burrillville: $13,250 to assist the town with planning to extend sewer and water infrastructure to service two industrially zoned parcels owned by the town.
  • Sterling Heritage Farms: $23,000 to finish perimeter surveys of their Portsmouth location, finalize engineering plans for the physical alteration permit for the farm entrance, create engineering plans and permit electrical and communication line upgrades and construction of those upgrades.
  • Central Falls: $30,000 to help make site-ready land donated to a developer for the construction of at least 20 units of housing. Funding would help make the site ready for development through survey, engineering and design services.
  • Central Falls: $30,000 for affordable housing on a newly acquired parcel of land. The city will donate this land to a developer who will construct at least six units of affordable housing. Funding would help make the site ready for development through survey, engineering and design services.
  • Central Falls: $30,000 to the Broad Street Economic Development Revitalization Plan to identify specific land use and programmatic strategies to spur the revitalization of Broad Street. Funding would go toward hiring a consultant to develop this plan, as well as how the land is currently being used, local economic trends and an analysis of zoning ordinances.
  • South Kingstown: $30,000 to organize a community process to update zoning and planning documents around two regions. Specifically, updates would include developing specific density standard, establish design criteria and performance standards for new construction, create regulations that will activate street frontage, increase walkability, and update permitting and encourage mixed-use development.
  • Tiverton: $30,000 for a market assessment for a business park, to do water and sewer assessments, evaluate how to improve traffic flows and provide recommendations and a plan to move the business park and town forward.
  • Middletown: $35,000 for a redevelopment investigation and to supplement matching private funding for evaluating site conditions, utilities and traffic for a proposed mixed-use, mixed-income town center.
  • Glocester: $40,000 for a public water feasibility study for the village of Chepachet to assess ways to bring potable water to the village that currently does not have access to a reliable potable public source of drinking water.
  • Heritage Place LLC: $47,000 to conduct architectural and engineering predevelopment work, drive-thru updates, and retrofits, building preparations for new tenants and fire code updates.
  • Providence redevelopment agency: $50,000 to assist in the design and engineering for the redevelopment of the Former Textile Machinery Finishing Company at 50 Sims Ave.
  • Woonsocket: $50,000 to purchase and install a 150KW backup generator and install commercial facade improvements to the Commercial Block Building on Woonsocket’s historic Main Street. A higher education facility will be located in the building and help drive traffic downtown.
  • The Coletta Group LLC: $50,000 to help purchase two parcels of land on Swan Street and Sayles Street in South Providence and to support the buildout of two new commercial buildings.
  • Research Instruments Corp: $75,000 to enable the rapid expansion of their Optical/X-ray R&D Laboratories at One Richmond Square, where the company can accelerate engineering work involving their X-ray generation technology. Funds would enable buildout of lab space.
  • TriSalus Life Sciences Inc: $75,000 to help renovate and build out their lab buildings in Cranston, to efficiently start to build, and ultimately develop TriSalus infrastructure in the state so their offices, experts and staff can be in close proximity.

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