...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders
QDC, officials unveil RI Ready program
Program is modeled on QDC’s pre-permitting effort with CRMC
NORTH KINGSTOWN, January 13, 2022 – Governor McKee and Quonset Development Corporation officials this week unveiled a new initiative, Rhode Island Ready, for encouraging development of industrial properties throughout the state. The program was modeled after an effort by the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council and R.I. Department of Environmental Management, together with QDC, to pre-permit sites in Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown to encourage development and streamline the state permitting process.
The QDC attributes historic growth of the Quonset Business Park to its Site Readiness Program. In 2013, the QDC worked with the CRMC and DEM and other state agencies to create the program, a streamlined and expedited permitting process for the park’s 39 undeveloped parcels. The QDC and CRMC also established a public access plan for the entire park, instead of relying on individual companies to incorporate it into their development plans and applications as part of CRMC regulatory requirements, greatly enhancing the ability of QDC to attract tenants. The CRMC, through its formerly named Section 335 of the Rhode Island coastal program, requires public access to the water as part of the application or proposed development, and this program satisfies that condition.
The $40 million RI Ready effort is designed to prepare sites to achieve pre-permitted status, and provide an inventory of pre-permitted properties ready for industrial development all over Rhode Island. With support from the hosting municipality, interested parties can work with state agencies and other regulators to go through the streamlined process. Quonset provides pre-permitted, pre-engineered sites to new businesses that are shovel ready within 90 days of the business signing a lease, according to the RI Ready website, www.riready.org.
Governor Danial J. McKee, along with R.I. Commerce Corporation Secretary Stefan Pryor, and Quonset Development Corporation Director Steve King, introduced the program. Municipalities can enroll in the program in order to bring attention and business to any industrial-zoned sites, to get assistance and get their sites ready for development as soon as possible. QDC staff will evaluate potential properties and districts for eligibility, and services include environmental evaluations, title searches, full site engineering estimates, building permit assistance, marketing, and workforce development services. Sites must be industrial, 10 acres in size or capable of a building approximately 100,000 square feet in size, be within a mile of a state highway, or be zoned for industrial or offshore wind support use.
“The CRMC is pleased to be a part of Governor McKee’s announcement, and the effort going forward to help municipalities all over the state develop their industrial parcels,” said CRMC Executive Director Jeff Willis. “As was shown through our collaboration with QDC and DEM 10 years ago, pre-permitting sites allows for a much more streamlined approach for companies and other commerce looking to establish or expand in Rhode Island.”