One of Rhode Island's key infrastructure and transit-oriented developments is moving forward into the next stage of marketing and development with a new brand identity, website and market analysis.
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, U.S. Senator Jack Reed and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian today announced City Centre Warwick as the new name for the Warwick Station Development District and launched a new website - CityCentreWarwick.com - to help market 95 acres surrounding T.F. Green Airport, the Warwick Rail Station, the InterLink and Interstates 95 and 295 for development.
The goal is to create a cohesive identity on a local, regional and national level to position City Centre Warwick as a prime, transit-oriented development hub with significant investment and business growth opportunities.
"Capitalizing on our existing economic assets to position Rhode Island for lasting success and prosperity has been my top priority," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "The newly branded City Centre Warwick is one of the state's key infrastructure and transit-oriented developments and is a signature project that will revitalize and redefine some 95 acres of land surrounding T.F. Green Airport and nearby transportation amenities. With its continued development, we have an opportunity to form a mixed-use, intermodal gateway to Rhode Island and the rest of Southern New England."
Rhode Island is already well positioned to accelerate private-sector involvement to complement the more than $300 million in federal and State investments that have been made in planning and transportation infrastructure in and around City Centre Warwick.
"Warwick is a city on the move and this is an exciting opportunity to attract more investment, business, and jobs to the area. This new marketing strategy can help the city raise its profile, spur economic development, and leverage the significant federal investments we're making in modernizing T.F. Green Airport and improving our transportation network. It is great to see business, labor, civic, and community leaders working together to create a blueprint for economic revitalization," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee who helped secure a $400,000 federal Transportation and Community Systems Preservation Program grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the project.
"I'm proud to celebrate the next phase of development for City Centre Warwick, which could become a new economic hub for our state," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "The Centre's proximity to the airport will provide a real draw for new businesses interested in relocating to Rhode Island, which will help spur job growth in the region."
"The announcement of City Centre Warwick, and accompanying launch of CityCentreWarwick.com, is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Warwick to become a vibrant transit-hub that caters to both tourists and local residents," said U.S. Representative Jim Langevin. "Redefining and marketing this land for mixed-use development will attract new business and investments, spurring sustainable economic growth and creating quality jobs for Rhode Islanders."
"I am delighted that these state-wide organizations have come together to create a growing hub of transportation and economic development for all of Rhode Island," said U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI). "As a transportation hub, City Centre Warwick will serve not only local residents and many Rhode Islanders, but will also act as a gateway for the rest of Southern New England and I am pleased to offer my continued support."
With convenient access to regional and national transportation and exceptional coastal amenities, City Centre Warwick provides a unique development opportunity. City Centre Warwick offers up to 1.5 million sq. ft. for mixed-use development and, combined with adjacent areas, up to approximately 3 million sq. ft. of development opportunities within a half-mile of commuter rail access to Providence and Boston.
"City Centre Warwick" truly reflects the City's vision for the district – a lively commerce and multi-modal transit center in the heart of southern New England that's supported by a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in which to live and work," said Mayor Avedisian. "Developing an identity for the district and having a dedicated website both to promote the area's transit and pedestrian-friendly characteristics and provide critical information on business development and residential opportunities are vital marketing resources. The market segmentation analysis has outlined the district's strengths and has identified key industries that will flourish in City Centre Warwick and the business innovation district. This information enables a focused approach in the next phase of marketing to directly target those industries and developers who can best capitalize on the unique transit assets located at City Centre Warwick."
The vision is to develop a sustainable walking community with a dense, mix-use of commercial, office, hospitality and residential space. Offering something for everyone, City Centre Warwick will create an urban experience that is active, affordable and attractive to business development, employers and residents alike. The ultimate goal is to create a diverse, pedestrian-friendly, sustainable, mixed-use community, that offers quality jobs and sustainable business growth opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.
Working in collaboration, the City of Warwick, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) formed a working group to implement a $400,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to promote City Centre Warwick.
"If we are going to succeed as a state and compete globally, we must have a sound transportation infrastructure," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "The improvements being made here in City Centre Warwick are a perfect example of how public investment can drive economic development."
"Continuing to develop and market key economic assets like City Centre Warwick is vital as we work to create the conditions for businesses in all sectors to thrive in Rhode Island and to improve the quality of life for our citizens," said RIEDC Executive Director Marcel A. Valois.
Kelly Fredericks, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said, "Since T.F. Green (Green) is an integral piece of the new City Centre, we are optimistic of the future development opportunities for the City of Warwick and the airport. The anticipated passenger and cargo growth associated with the success of City Centre is dependent on our strong airport/InterLink transportation hub. We look forward to working with the City of Warwick and to the future success of this exciting redevelopment area."
As part of a comprehensive marketing strategy, a market analysis study was conducted to assist the State and City of Warwick in: (1) understanding what businesses want to be in City Centre Warwick; (2) how to attract them; and (3) how to attract the right businesses that will contribute positively to the quality-of-place. The study found that City Centre Warwick may be an appropriate target for commercial and industrial development in financial services, healthcare, medical devices, hotel and business conference centers, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, foreign trade, logistics and warehousing, high-value manufacturing and assembly, and educational services. The full Market Segmentation Analysis is available at CityCentreWarwick.com.
The working group, through RIEDC, contracted BETA Group, Inc., of Lincoln, R.I., along with The Williams Group and CWS Consulting Group (now known as Investment Consulting Associates, or ICA), to perform the market analysis and (add)ventures of Providence, R.I. to create a branding and marketing plan and website. The City and statewide partners engaged multiple stakeholders in the business and local communities in a series of discussions to inform the development of the new name, logo, website and market analysis for City Centre Warwick.
The website allows users to explore and obtain resources for development opportunities, businesses (existing and future) and residents. It also includes the City of Warwick's master plan and street scape design, market segmentation analysis, district and intermodal advantages, local demographics and the mixed-use environment. In addition, the website features dynamic and downloadable maps for current zoning, proposed boundaries, parcel sizes and values, and utilities and transportation.