Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) and the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) have reached a new 25-year lease agreement to extend and expand Electric Boat's footprint at Quonset Business Park. Approved by the QDC's Board of Directors at their December meeting, the expanded lease will give Electric Boat the flexibility it needs to construct new, specialized facilities for submarine programs.
The terms of the tentative agreement expand Electric Boat's footprint by about 42 acres, which includes more than 1 million square feet of building space. Currently Electric Boat leases 100 acres at the business park, and owns an additional 33 acres. The company performs a variety of activities at Quonset, including manufacturing, hull fabrication, modular construction, coating and steel processing. The 25 years will be the longest lease term that Electric Boat has held at the Quonset Business Park.
The new lease includes an incentive package, which provides a discount depending on the length of the lease and an additional discount for job creation. The incentive program is the standard offered by the QDC to all future tenants.
Electric Boat employs more than 2,500 people at Quonset, at an average wage in excess of $50,000, not including benefits. The decision by Congress to double production of the Virginia-class submarine has already resulted in the increase of several hundred jobs at Quonset. The company has also invested more than $900 million at Quonset since it established its manufacturing site there in 1973. In the last three years, Electric Boat has spent $112 million at 270 Rhode Island based suppliers.
"Today's announcement means more good paying jobs with excellent benefits for Rhode Island and will help boost our economy," Governor Chafee said. "Quonset has become one of the premier business complexes in the northeast, and it includes Electric Boat's facility where modular construction of submarines was pioneered and continues to be perfected."
He added, "It's only a matter of time now before there are more than 10,000 jobs across all the companies here at Quonset Business Park."
"Since Electric Boat opened its Quonset fabrication plant 40 years ago, we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the State of Rhode Island," said Electric Boat President Jeffrey S. Geiger. "This new agreement provides us with the room we need to meet the Navy's future shipbuilding needs, and these facilities, designed for efficient production, provide the U.S. Navy the most cost-effective approach."
Quonset Business Park is now home to more than 175 companies, employing approximately 9,500 people in full-time and part-time jobs in many industries. The Port of Davisville at Quonset is also one of the top 10 auto-importers in North America. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), and the largest employer at the business park.
"I am pleased Electric Boat is extending its lease at Quonset and strengthening its commitment to Rhode Island. Submarines are crucial to our security and that means there should be every hope that Electric Boat will expand its work force here in Rhode Island in the coming years," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense who has led the effort to include critical funding for Virginia-class submarines and other key shipbuilding programs in the federal budget.
"Quonset Business Park plays a key role in our state's economic development. In particular, Electric Boat has been a consistent source of jobs for Rhode Island workers," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "I'm glad Electric Boat will continue to contribute to the Rhode Island economy for another 25 years, and I congratulate the Quonset Development Corporation for finalizing this long-term agreement."
"Quonset Business Park is a vital piece of Rhode Island's economy, both for workforce development and supporting local companies," said U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin. "Electric Boat has spent millions of dollars at Rhode Island suppliers, not to mention the investment in personnel, employing more than 2,500 people in this state. This 25-year lease will increase that investment on both counts. Thank you to Electric Boat and the Quonset Development Corporation for your commitment to Rhode Island."
"Today's announcement by General Dynamics Electric Boat to expand its operations in Quonset will help revitalize our state's economy. Electric Boat's expansion will help strengthen our state's manufacturing sector and create more good-paying jobs back in Rhode Island," said U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline. "The new 25-year lease agreement shows that Electric Boat remains committed and invested in Rhode Island's workforce. I want to thank both General Dynamics Electric Boat and the Quonset Development Corporation for coming to an agreement that serves so many people in our state and will continue to strengthen our economy."
"We are very pleased to have come to a long term agreement with Electric Boat, one of our longest standing tenants at the Business Park," said Steven J. King, PE, the managing director of the QDC. "The QDC is deeply committed to helping move Rhode Island forward and to continue to position the Park as an engine of economic growth."
Marcel Valois, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Chairman of the QDC's Board of Directors, said, "Electric Boat is one of 175 great companies at Quonset Business Park helping to create more jobs and move the Rhode Island economy forward. The Board of Directors approved this lease because we are committed to helping bring more jobs to the state and to showing the world that Rhode Island is a place where companies can grow and succeed."
Electric Boat recently completed two major expansion projects at the business park: a $25 million coatings building that will support two-per-year Virginia construction; and a $7 million moored training ship building that will support construction of the Navy's next-generation ship trainers.
About Quonset Development Corporation: The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) is a real estate development and property management company. Formed in 2005 it is responsible for the development and management of the 3,207 acre Quonset Business ParkŪ. Quonset Business Park is home to 175 companies, employing more than 9,500 people full- and part-time in a variety of industries. The Port of Davisville at Quonset Business Park is a Top Ten auto importer in North America.