THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION OF RHODE ISLAND, INC.
STATEMENT OF CORPORATE PURPOSE AND STRATEGIES
To foster economic growth and prosperity through the design and implementation of real estate based economic development strategies with the goals of attracting and retaining quality employment opportunities, and improving the fiscal health of the State of Rhode Island and its cities and towns. In furthering its mission, the corporation will strive to enhance the visual quality of the communities where it undertakes projects by adopting quality building and land use design standards. Furthermore, the corporation will strive to enter into strategic alliances with other private and public entities when such strategic alliances promise to enhance the corporation’s success in achieving its mission. Furthermore, the corporation will conduct its business affairs in a manner that expands and strengthens the corporation’s capital base so that the corporation has the future capacity to undertake economic development projects and initiatives.
In furthering its mission, the corporation has adopted two primary strategies: (1) development, redevelopment and/or rehabilitation of industrial and commercial real estate, and (2) economic and real estate development advisory and information services to the public and not-for-profit sectors. The second strategy is to be implemented through the corporation’s affiliated entity; New England Economic Development Services, Inc. (“NEEDS”).
Strategy #1: Development, redevelopment and/or rehabilitation of industrial and commercial real estate
Sub-strategy A: Development of small, “scattered-site” industrial and/or commercial land development projects.
Sub-strategy B: Acquisition, rehabilitation and redevelopment of industrial and commercial properties for industrial, commercial, and/or mixed use purposes.
Sub-strategy C: Acquisition, demolition and redevelopment of Brownfield properties for industrial, commercial, and/or mixed use purposes.
In the implementation of Strategy #1, the following guiding principles will be used by the corporation for the selection of prospective projects.
- In short term, focus on smaller, more manageable projects.
- Consider smaller land development projects where capital is not “tied-up” for long periods of time (e.g. masterplanned corporate parks).
- Risk identification and management is a priority in considering the development/redevelopment of environmentally contaminated properties.
- Be “opportunity driven” including considering projects regardless of their geographic location (e.g. urban, suburban and rural) and type (e.g. Brownfield or Greenfield). (see Addendum, Note #1)
- Prioritize industrial and office projects.
- Consider mixed-use projects only if joint-venture partners are identified for any non-industrial or office uses and only if there is a “bright line” defining the corporation’s role and the joint venture partner’s role.
- Build relationships with other Rhode Island communities that do not have a current or past working relationship with the corporation.
- Prioritize identification of a new project outside the northern Rhode Island region.
- Work with those communities that have demonstrated support of economic development and have expressed support and interest in working with the corporation. (see Addendum, Note #2).
- Real estate acquisition and disposition strategies should be based, in part, on the objective of maximizing returns on invested capital and growing the corporation’s capital base. Consider both “flip” and “hold” options for real estate investments.
- Consider needs of small business community in the selection and design of projects.
- Demonstrate innovative economic development strategies through the design and implementation of projects.
- Prioritize the development and disposition of the remaining acreage in the Highland Corporate Park in Cumberland.
Strategy #2: Economic and real estate development advisory and information services to the public and not-for-profit sectors (NEEDS)
Sub-strategy A: Continued development of an Internet based, statewide industrial and commercial property information system.
Sub-strategy B: Provide real estate focused economic development advisory services to the public and not-for-profit sectors.
- The corporation should be recognized as a viable, outsourced economic development expert to supplement declining expertise at the city/town level.
- The corporation should seek qualified, outside consultants’ to reinforce in-house expertise in responding to the growing demand for economic development advisory services.
- The development of proprietary real estate and economic development information systems are critical to (1) providing high quality advisory services, (2) identifying, designing and analyzing the corporation’s real estate projects, and (3) developing working relationships with the various municipalities in Rhode Island.
- The corporation should abstain from providing advisory services to the private, for-profit sector.
- Advisory services are secondary to the core activity of real estate development and should not interfere with this core activity.