The amount of constraint wetlands and rock ledge could provide within the 177 acres of Tiverton’s industrial park will determine how it will be subdivided to be marketable for future businesses.
Tiverton Planner Chris Spencer gave an update to the Tiverton Town Council earlier this week on the progress of Cranston-based DiPrete Engineering, the engineering firm the park. The parcel subdividing is being assisted through the Newport County Chamber of Commerce through a Small Business Association grant, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. From a signed contract earlier this summer, DiPrete has 180 days to present a concept design for the park, which they will eventually bring to the Planning Board to begin the review process. Public hearings will then be advertised.
Spencer added that DiPrete should be on site in September looking at the soils and conditions.
“They’ll be working with the Department of Environmental Management and other permitting agencies to meet that deadline,” he said.
Spencer said there is a rather large wetland that bisects the industrial park on the other side of Progress Way, the only access road leading in. He said engineers will most likely be marking that off.
“We want to utilize the existing topography so we can minimize the amount of cut and fill that would be required,” Spencer said.
Parallel to the land study, Spencer said they would like to identify all possible mixed zoning uses that could benefit the park. They would also like to create some development standards and guidelines for the park, such as frontages for businesses, building design, landscaping, lighting and signage.
“Part of that makes them marketable,” he said.
With DEM working closely with the town, Spencer hopes they can speed up the application process for a potential suitor, in terms of all permits required to subdivide the land parcels. In a recent letter to DEM, Spencer states that he anticipates the development of Tiverton’s park to mirror that of the Quonset Development Corporation, by pre-permitting as much as possible. Future build-out of the park is also proposed.
“By being more clear as to what the town wants, we think we can create an expedited process for someone who wants to be located in the park,” he said.
On Tuesday night, Town Council Vice President Cecil Leonard requested an update on the project. Once the subdivision design is ready, he said the town will need to look to hire a marketing agent.
“We need customers to rent and buy land,” he said. “There are many, many communities that offer incentives for customers who want to build things in our community. We need to be competitive.”
In talks with the Economic Development Commission, who had members present on Tuesday night, Spencer said it may cost the town $10,000 to $20,000 for marketing costs, which could include a website, brochures and video.
Councilors, such as Robert Coulter and President Jay Lambert, noted that Tiverton must shed it’s “unfriendly to business” stigma, citing numerous things that are working for the town, including approving a earlier Tuesday evening.
“We have waterfront and open space, Weetamoo Woods and we’re close to the highways,” Leonard said, noting Tiverton’s Industrial Park will be competing with Fall River, Taunton and Freetown’s industrial parks for clientele.
“The better chance we have at getting creative, [the more chance] we have at making the park a success,” added Lambert.
The December 2010 request-for-proposal .pdf to subdivide Tiverton's industrial park is attached to this post. The town is also currently in the new industrial park.