This article will help anyone looking for information pertaining to a commercial real estate and commercial lending in the State of
Rhode Island has the smallest amount of land in the country.
Only 1,045 square miles make up this New England state. The state is densely
populated, however, with 1,029 people occupying each of those square miles.
The residents of Rhode Island have the 16th highest per capita income in the
country. In 2006 it was estimated to be about $35,000.
Traditionally, Rhode Island was a manufacturing state specializing in the textile
industry. By the second half of the 1900’s, many of the textile factories
had been abandoned, and the major industries of Rhode Island shifted. Those
abandoned textile factories have become housing development opportunities. Many
of them have been turned into low income housing, senior-citizen housing and
upscale condominiums. Affordable housing development is being heavily subsidized
by the state. Other factories have been turned into office space. Around the
cities of Providence and Pawtucket, the factories are being developed into artists
spaces. The largest commercial industry within the state is the healthcare
industry, and medical office complexes are prevalent, particularly
Though industry, generally, is in decline. It might not be such a bad idea
to hold onto some industrial property. The Rhode Island Economic Development
Corporation has worked to bring new types of manufacturing to the state, so
there is some need for light to heavy industrial property for electronic, health
care and food manufacturing. Indeed, the growth in Rhode Island’s manufacturing
sector has spurred a 50% increase in the use of industrial property. As well,
Rhode Island has implemented several tax incentive programs intended to spur
business development revitalize abandoned industrial areas. Besides tax incentives,
the state also offers grants and loans to developers of old mill properties.
Education is also a big industry in Rhode Island. There are
14 colleges and universities within its borders. Since most of Rhode Island
is urbanized, there is a strong student housing market. Vacancy rates are low
and rents run fairly high. As well, retail runs strong in the university areas;
the state has the highest number of coffee shops per capita in the country.
A fairly unique development niche in Rhode Island is historic redevelopment.
Indeed, the state has set aside over $5.3 million to purchase open space and
property that has been preserved or redeveloped for its historical value. A
small portion of Rhode Island borders the Atlantic Ocean. Beach front property
isn’t really developed, but there’s a strong market in existing
development along the water.