NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI--Brown & Sharpe has reached an agreement with the state of Rhode Island that will allow the company to relocate its operations to the Quonset Davisville Port & Commerce Park, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Under the agreement, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation will build a new facility at Quonset using moral obligation bonds, and lease the facility back to the company for a 10-year period for the cost of the debt service. The 100,000 square foot facility will be designed to allow for expansion, and will be sited on a 14-acre parcel in the Keifer Park section of Quonset. The target date for occupancy of the new facility is July 2005.
Brown & Sharpe was established in 1833 in Providence, RI. The company moved to its present manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters in North Kingstown, RI approximately 40 years ago. Just over two years ago, the company was acquired by Swedish firm Hexagon AB. Brown & Sharpe provides metrology systems, services, and software to industrial clients in the aerospace, automotive and affiliated industries. Brown & Sharpe management determined that they needed a more efficient manufacturing facility and had originally considered moving operations closer to the company's primary customer base in the Midwest.
The proposal was approved by Hexagon's board of directors at a meeting on October 31. The agreement will come before the Quonset Davisville Management Corporation (QDMC) and RIEDC boards for approval. The agreement will also be subject to General Assembly approval of the bond financing.
Bill Gruber, President and CEO of Brown & Sharpe, said, "The past 170 years of this company have now delivered us to this threshold on tomorrow, where we will show the world that this country, this state, and this company can compete with high technology equipment and software produced here in Rhode Island."