Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a 25-year lease to make Edesia a new tenant at Quonset Business Park. Edesia, a ready-to-use food aid producer and non-profit organization, plans to build a new facility, which could be as large as 85,000 square feet and house between 75 and 100 employees. The new facility could also be expanded another 25,000 square feet in the future, should Edesia deem it necessary.
"This is great news for Rhode Island and great news for Edesia. Quonset continues to show how investing in our state assets can help companies grow, create more jobs and propel our economy in the right direction," Governor Chafee said. "Edesia's mission to end childhood malnutrition is vitally important, and it's an organization that Rhode Island is committed to helping grow."
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Edesia will construct a new facility on a 10-acre parcel that is part of Quonset's Site-Readiness program. The QDC has completed all the permitting and engineering that a developer would have to conduct as part of "due diligence" to get a project under way. The success of the Site Readiness program is due in part to the collaboration with various state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), which were instrumental in securing all the baseline permits that a new business would need to develop the parcel. As a result, Edesia expects to break ground on their facility within 90 days of signing the approved lease.
The new lease also includes an incentive package providing discounts based on the length of the lease and for job creation and total payroll. The incentive program is the standard lease incentive offered by the QDC to any company. The lease term discount accounts for a 16 percent rent reduction in exchange for the 25-year lease commitment. The employment incentive provides an additional discount based on wages paid by Edesia to its employees when their new facility is in use.
"Edesia is happy to have found a home for our new state-of-the-art factory in Quonset Business Park. Having a location that was site-ready was critical in our decision to make the move from Providence," said Navyn Salem, Edesia's Executive Director. "The faster we build, the more quickly we can meet the growing demands of our humanitarian partners, such as UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and USAID/USDA. In our new facility, not only will we reach two million malnourished children each year, we will also focus on the innovation of new products that reach more vulnerable people abroad and right here in Rhode Island."
"We are thrilled to have Edesia join our growing list of tenants at Quonset Business Park," said Steven J. King, the Managing Director of the QDC. "With the construction of their new facility, Edesia will be poised to reach new milestones and we look forward to showing them what a great place Quonset can be for their organization to succeed."
"Edesia's arrival at Quonset and continued growth is a tremendous example of how companies continue to succeed in Rhode Island," said Marcel A. Valois, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Chairman of the QDC's Board of Directors. "In the past several months the Quonset Site-Readiness program has shown its effectiveness by attracting two food industry tenants, Greencore and Edesia. This should be a template for other areas of the state as we continue to create the right conditions for all businesses to grow in Rhode Island."
Quonset Business Park is now home to more than 175 companies, employing approximately 9,500 people in full-time and part-time jobs across several industries. The Port of Davisville at Quonset is also one of the top ten auto-importers in North America.
Today's news follows the announcement in March that Greencore USA, a convenience food manufacturer, plans to build a 107,000-square-foot facility at Quonset, which would house more than 390 employees. In December, a new 25-year lease at Quonset for Electric Boat was approved by the QDC's Board of Directors. The submarine maker is expected to add 600,000 square feet to their existing facilities and up to 3,000 more jobs over the next 10 years for the construction of Ohio class replacement submarines.
About Quonset Development Corporation: Quonset Business Park is one of the leading drivers of economic growth and job creation in Rhode Island. The Park is managed by the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC), a real estate development and property management company, which was formed in 2005 and is responsible for the development and management of the 3,207 acre facility. Quonset Business Park is home to over 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 one of the top ten auto importers in North America.
About Edesia: Founded by Rhode Island-resident Navyn Salem, Edesia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization on a mission to help treat and prevent malnutrition for the world's most vulnerable children. Edesia produces micronutrient-fortified, peanut-based products like Plumpy'NutŪ for use in humanitarian emergencies and conflict zones in over 40 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.edesiaglobal.org.