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NORTH KINGSTON, RI-A Boston-based development firm has joined forces with a Rhode Island developer to transform a former naval base into a $75-million, 500,000-sf mixed-use project. New Boston Development, the development arm of New Boston Fund, and Quonset Development Corp. will revamp the 60-acre naval air base, which was closed in 1994, into 200,000 sf of retail space, 150,000 sf of R&D and office space and a 100,000-sf hotel, Tim Chamberlain, director of development for New Boston Development Partners, tells GlobeSt.com.

“We have full guns blazing on the marketing effort and we’re negotiating terms with several quality retail anchors,” says Chamberlain. The project should break ground in the fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008 and should be fully built-out within the next five to seven years.

Primary equity funding for the venture, known as the Gateway Project at Quonset Business Park, will come from New Boston Fund’s Urban Strategy America Fund, which is designed to create housing, jobs and amenities in areas that need economic redevelopment while creating a return for investors. At full build out, the park should employ about 18,000. The site was selected for development, he says, because it is one of the few last remaining large tracts in North Kingston that can handle a project of this size.

Millions of state and federal dollars have already been spent to create the infrastructure for the business park, including $170 million to provide highway access to the park from Route 4. The project will also capitalize on the former naval base’s deep water port and freight rail access.

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