By Dominique Cantelme
From the May/June 2016 Issue
Business, Research and Industrial Parks have become commonplace in today’s landscape and can play an essential role in a company’s success. Companies in physical proximity in a designated area form these parks. Each location caters to, or enables a particular type, of economic development. The Parks offer a myriad of advantages for hosted companies and sometimes incentives, such as tax increment financing, to attract the right residents.
Business, Research and Industrial Parks are usually situated on the outskirts of major cities but connect companies with the benefits of the city center—without the high rental costs and traffic congestion that come with a central location. They are most often provided with easy, accessible transportation, including road and rail, as well as ample parking for Park residents and visitors alike.
A Business or Office Park is an area where office buildings are grouped together. Focused on administration, all of the work that goes on is commercial. Business Parks typically build wider facilities rather than higher and are mostly situated around major food chains, supermarkets, shops and services.
A Research Park/ Science Park/ Science and Technology Park is designed to promote innovation. It is supported by universities for industry collaboration, and by local government in order to improve community prosperity. Both have the intention of furthering knowledge and high technology through product advancement and innovation. These parks can offer a number of shared resources, such as incubators, programs, uninterruptible power supply, telecommunications hubs, management offices, restaurants, bank offices and internal transportation.
An Industrial Park is focused on manufacturing, zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development. Tenants may include oil refineries, ports, warehouses, distribution centers, chemical plants, plastics manufacturers, airports, food and beverage processors and steel manufacturers.
Business, Research and Industrial Parks ensure intensive use of land and create strong business environments in localities. The concentration of companies decreases costs for common maintenance services, similar sectors can join marketing activities for increased exposure and materials and information can be shared and exchanged.
QUONSET BUSINESS PARK: DRIVING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN RI
Quonset Business Park increasingly is seen as a key driver of job creation and economic growth in Rhode Island. It is now home to nearly 11,000 full-time and part-time jobs at more than 200 companies. Its Port of Davisville is one of the top 10 auto-importers in North America. And since 2005, more than 4,800 jobs have been created within the Park. So why are so many businesses and people wanting to call Quonset home?
World Class Infrastructure: Since 2005 more than $90 million has been invested to upgrade the infrastructure of the Park. That includes everything from the roads, rail, piers and water system, to tearing down over 2.4 million square feet of derelict and unusable building space. Governor Raimondo also included a $90 million proposal in her state budget this year to modernize and reconstruct Pier 2 at the Port of Davisville. The investment would position Quonset to be home base for jobs in the wind energy field, as well as preserve hundreds of jobs in the maritime sector and solidify Davisville’s position as the premiere marine commercial gateway to New England.
90-Day Development: The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC), which handles the development and management of the Quonset Business Park, has completed all the engineering that a developer would have to conduct as part of “due diligence” in order to get a project underway. Further, the QDC has secured all the baseline permits from various state agencies that a new business would be required to secure. In essence, shovels can be in the ground within 90 days of a new tenant signing their lease.
The Quonset Zone: A single zoning district is assigned to the park as part of an agreement with the host community of North Kingstown for uniform development regulations. The one-stop process means that all development and re-development projects in the park can proceed more efficiently and in a timely manner.
Optimal Sized Parcels: Today there are 38 parcels pre-engineered and pre-permitted across 274 acres. Ranging in size from one to 43 acres, there is an optimal space for any size business.
Lease Incentive Plans: There are multiple lease incentives offered—the longer a tenant agrees to keep their business at the Park, the larger the discount available to them. Another incentive provides a discount to land lease tenants that is equal to 0.5 percent of their annual wages.
These are just some of the top reasons companies are choosing Quonset. There are still many, many more, including the beaches, golf course, retail and other amenities on-site.
A testament to Quonset’s growth was reflected by several major announcements over the past year. Many were highlighted in the Quonset Development Corporation’s annual report for 2015, which can be viewed at www.Quonset.com on the Transparency and Accountability page.
Major highlights noted within the report for 2015, include:
- Job Growth: One year after achieving the 10,000-employee milestone, employment at the Park has now reached 10,880.
- New tenants: Greencore completed a new 93,000-square-foot facility housing 400 employees. Edesia completed construction of their 82,000-square-foot building, which will house 75 new employees. Other new tenants arriving in 2015 included PetValu, NK Solar, North Kingstown School Department, Electric Boat Pharmacy and Bank of England.
- Tenant expansions: Several tenants have continued to invest in major expansions and improvements at the Quonset Business Park, including Toray Plastics, NORAD, Ocean State Job Lot, Electric Boat, J. Goodison Company, Supfina and Wide World of Indoor Sports.
- New building space: There was more than 183,000 square feet of new structures added by Quonset tenants in 2015.
- Private Investment: New tenant arrivals and current company expansions resulted in $29 million of investment in the Park this past year.
- Infrastructure Projects: The QDC spearheaded the construction of more than $3.7 million in completed infrastructure projects and another $8.9 million ongoing into 2016.
- Port activity: Auto imports have continued to grow, with 227,021 autos imported by ship and a combined total of 269,171 by ship, rail and truck in 2015. The Port has experienced growth of 547 percent over the past 20 years and this was its sixth consecutive record-breaking year for imports. Additionally, 387 metric tons of project cargo was handled by the mobile harbor crane last year.
“The most critical component to our decision was the expedited development timeline offered by Quonset Business Park. Quonset’s Site Readiness program and their uniform development guidelines gave us confidence about the process ahead. We felt that Quonset offered the quickest timeline from a lease signing to the start of construction. In fact, they estimated that it would happen in less than 90 days. True to their word, Quonset delivered,” said Rene Ouimet, VP Strategy & Business Transformation, Greencore.
These are just a few of the stories about Quonset’s continued growth in the past year.
With more than 200 companies and nearly 11,000 people working at the Quonset Business Park, the Quonset Development Corporation is committed to helping more businesses grow, create jobs and continue to move Rhode Island forward.
To learn how Quonset can help your company grow and succeed, visit www.Quonset.com.
2016: A BIG GROWTH YEAR IN WESTERN NEW HAMPSHIRE
The year is only a few months old, but it’s already shaping up to be a busy one for economic development in Claremont, New Hampshire. As of May, four major projects are under way, expanding the City’s manufacturing sector, making room for growth at key Claremont employers and continuing the expansion of the River Road industrial area and Syd Clarke Industrial Park.
Canam-Bridges, a division of the Canam Group, bought a lot next door to their existing 250,000-square-foot facility to accommodate the company’s growing demand. CANAM has secured major bridge contracts in recent months, including the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, and is adding employees fast.
North Country Smokehouse has secured the rights to three parcels in the Syd Clarke Industrial Park for their expansion. A long-time Claremont company, North Country was purchased by Les Spécialités Prodal, a Canadian firm who made the decision to expand the operation in Claremont. North Country has secured planning and zoning approvals for a 67,000-square-foot office and food production facility.
New Hampshire Industries purchased a 130,000-square-foot facility in Claremont last year. NHI is moving their headquarters to Claremont, bringing over 70 jobs with them and paving the way for future expansions. Company president John Seavers says “New Hampshire Industries is the premier global manufacturer of rugged mechanical power transfer products, including idler and drive pulleys, blade adaptors, timing pulleys, machined components and custom assemblies. The NHI team consists of approximately 70 employees and we hope to grow this number significantly in the coming years.”
Jewell Trucking bought and developed a parcel in the Syd Clarke Industrial Park, constructing a 14,000-square-foot office and trucking depot to accommodate their company’s growth.
After years of slow growth, companies from all over the region are realizing Claremont’s value. Low construction and real estate costs, a well-trained workforce, solid infrastructure and a City focused on development are helping to push Claremont forward at a rapid pace.
For more information about current projects, or to learn more about what Claremont can do for your business or clients, please visit www.claremontnh.com/advantage or contact the City of Claremont, New Hampshire Planning and Economic Development Department at (603) 542-7008 or [email protected]
SEYMOUR-JACKSON COUNTY, IN: ENGINE FOR NEW GROWTH
Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation (JCIDC), based in Seymour, IN, was created in 1984 to attract new business/industry and assist in the retention and expansion of the existing industrial base.
Located along Interstate 65, Seymour-Jackson County is one hour south of Indianapolis, IN, an hour north of Louisville, KY and 90 minutes west of Cincinnati, OH. Since the economic downturn of 2008-10, JCIDC has helped facilitate “promised investment” of over $585 million from Jackson County industries, which also saw the creation of over 1,200 new jobs.
Among major announcements was an expansion by Cummins for their high-horsepower engines. The company has added new engineering and production test cells, an enlarged energy center and a new office building to assemble the QSK95 and QSK120, the most powerful high-speed diesel engines in the world.
“The high-horsepower business is a growing part of Cummins, and because of the demand for these products throughout the world, we are able to add new high-skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs here in our home region,” said Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger.
In addition to Cummins and other domestic companies doing business in Jackson County, other expansion announcements have come from international companies such as Aisin Seiki and Valeo.
JCIDC currently is promoting a new 70,000-square-foot shell building, located at Seymour’s East Side Industrial Park. The building is expandable to over 200,000 square feet, and features a 34-foot eave height. In addition to other greenfield sites at the East Side Park, the organization is marketing new industrial sites in Crothersville, which is located in southern Jackson County, 36 miles north of Louisville.
With more than 30 percent of the area’s workforce involved in manufacturing, JCIDC also is heavily involved in workforce development, and created the Workforce Partnership in 1998 when unemployment had dropped below 2 percent in the area. This program, which is supported by various industries and other partners to better prepare the current and future workforce, helps facilitate a number of programs for middle school and high school students, plus post-secondary and the incumbent workforce.
JCIDC also was involved in the 2002 creation of the South Central Indiana Economic Development regional marketing group. Beginning as a six-county effort, membership now includes 10 counties along the Interstate 65, 64 and 74 corridors, and conducts both domestic and international marketing efforts.
“Advanced manufacturing is the lifeblood of our area,” said Jim Plump, executive director of JCIDC. “Our location, transportation system and labor force, plus an extremely business-friendly environment both locally and in the State of Indiana, are key components of our marketing efforts.”