2014 Government Regulations & Business Summit
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By Kaylen Auer
PBN Web Editor
By Kaylen Auer
PBN Web Editor
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and the Quonset Development Corporation announced Tuesday that international food manufacturer Greencore USA has entered a new 50-year lease at Quonset Business Park and will employ as nearly 400 people at the facility it plans to build there, 370 on the factory floor and 23 management staff, according to Greencore spokesman Michael Evans.
Under the terms of the lease, which the QDC’s board of directors is set to approve on Tuesday afternoon, Greencore will construct a 107,000-square-foot facility on a 15-acre parcel at Quonset. The lease also includes the option to later expand the facility an additional 40,000 square feet, which would allow Greencore to bring its total payroll to more than 600 employees.
Greencore will break ground on the facility by May 1.
“We look forward to having Greencore join our growing list of more than 175 companies at Quonset Business Park and having them here for many years to come,” said Steven J. King, managing director of the QDC. “Quonset is the ideal place for companies to grow and succeed. We can help them do it, which in turn will help move Rhode Island’s economy forward.”
Greencore USA is a subsidiary of Dublin-based Greencore Group PLC, which sells its convenience food products – including frozen prepared meals, soups, sauces and desserts – in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Greencore operates 16 food manufacturing sites in the U.K. and seven in the United States, located in Brockton and Newburyport, Mass.; Chicago; Fredericksburg, Va.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Minneapolis; and Salt Lake City.
Following the launch of the Quonset facility, Greencore plans to close its existing sites in Newburyport and Brockton and will offer employees the opportunity to take up roles at the new location in Rhode Island, according to Greencore spokesman Michael Evans.
“We are pleased to be coming to Quonset Business Park and the state of Rhode Island,” said Liam McClennon, CEO of Greencore USA. “In searching for the right location, we wanted to find a place where we could build quickly, have easy access to the major cities on the East Coast, and be in a place where we could grow in the future. Quonset met all those criteria perfectly – it is a world-class facility.”
The Greencore lease agreement was reached in part through Quonset’s site-readiness program, a joint collaboration between the QDC and state agencies including the R.I. Department of Environmental Management and the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council. Through the program, the QDC completes in advance all permitting and engineering a developer would have to conduct as part of due diligence to get a project underway.
The new lease also includes an incentive package that offers a 25 percent discount based on the 50-year lease commitment, as well as additional discounts for job creation and total payroll. The incentive program is the standard incentive offered by the QDC on all Quonset Business Park leases.
Marcel A. Valois, executive director of the R.I. Commerce Corporation and chairman of the QDC board of directors, said the site-readiness program and the incentive package were important factors in securing Greencore as a new tenant at the Quonset Business Park.
“We compete with neighboring states for business growth and having pre-permitted, shovel-ready land available makes us more competitive,” Valois said.
Quonset Business Park is home to more than 175 companies employing approximately 9,500 people in full- and part-time jobs.