King of Quonset

Anyone who says Rhode Island isn’t a business-friendly state hasn’t been to the Quonset Business Park.Located in North Kingstown, with more than 9,500* employees and more than 175 companies, the park is a booming, bustling bright spot in Rhode Island’s economic landscape. A significant investment of both private and public resources has transformed the Park’s Port of Davisville into North America’s seventh largest auto-importer. Honda has just been added to the list of manufacturers and will begin shipping autos here in 2014.

So what draws businesses to Quonset? It is the Quonset Development Corporation’s recognition that building world-class infrastructure and delivering on the promise of a consistent, predictable development can help the Park, and its tenants, grow. A key contributor to Quonset’s recent success is Steven J. King ’88, PE, managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC).

King, who has his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, was also ROTC at URI. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1992 and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. During his service he was awarded numerous honors, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the SW Asia Service Medal, and the Saudi Arabian Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait. 

Prior to joining the QDC, King gained experience working in several different engineering firms, and holds a professional engineering license in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. In February 2013, King was honored by the Providence Engineering Society (the oldest professional engineering society in the United States) with its annual Freeman Award for his outstanding contributions to the civil engineering profession in Rhode Island.

As managing director of the QDC, King oversees the planning, development and administration of all aspects of the Quonset Business Park. He is responsible for the leasing and management of all new developments in the Park and administers the planning, engineering, design, and construction of all infrastructure improvements undergone by the QDC. Following his military and private sector experience, King arrived at Quonset in 1998. He was named chief operating officer of the Park in 2005, and then managing director of the QDC in 2008.

Since 2005, the Park has benefited from more than $300 million in private investment. In addition, more than $660 million in federal and state funds has been invested in the Park in the last few decades.

“We have taken down more than two million square feet of abandoned Navy buildings, laid down thousands of feet of new railroads, and resurfaced miles and miles of new roadways throughout the Park,” King told President David Dooley on the president’s recent visit to Quonset.

Today, Quonset is an engine of economic growth and job creation in Rhode Island. In a recent Bryant University study, it was estimated that in 2011 alone, the Quonset Business Park created $956.5 million in income for Rhode Island households and another $25.5 million in income tax revenues for the state. The tax revenue estimate does not include corporate taxes accrued to the state, or nearly $6 million in property taxes or payments-in-lieu-of-taxes made to North Kingstown. Quonset’s actual impact is closer to $1 billion. And since 2005, Quonset has seen an unprecedented growth of jobs—adding approximately 3,000 in that brief period of time.

“We believe that Quonset Business Park has the capacity for approximately 15,000 workers on site,” King noted during a recent interview. “That will mean some challenges for parking and transportation hurdles to get them all here—but I suppose it’s a good problem for us and for Rhode Island to have.”...

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