Mayor Scott Avedisian left for Edinburgh, Scotland Friday as part of a Rhode Island trade mission consisting of a state delegation of more than a dozen businesses, trade groups and tourism officials.
The focus of the trade mission, sponsored by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Bryant University, is to promote inbound and outbound economic development opportunities and to capitalize on the expansion of daily direct air service from T.F. Green Airport to the Republic of Ireland's three main airports: Dublin, Shannon and Cork.
Over the course of this week, the Rhode Island delegation will travel to Counties Cork, Clare, Galway, Dublin, Offaly, Roscommon and Mayo to meet with company executives, business associations and government leaders with a high level of interest in doing business with and in Rhode Island.
A key highlight on the itinerary will be a visit at the 96th annual National Ploughing Championships, a three-day event that has now become Ireland's largest business network gathering with more than 1,500 Irish companies showcasing their products and services in the food, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, finance and technology industries.
One of Mayor Avedisian's priorities while in Ireland will be to promote City Centre Warwick, the district comprising more than 100 acres near T.F. Green Airport and the InterLink intermodal station. Located just minutes from Routes 95 and 295, properties within the district are also a short walk to the $267 million InterLink intermodal facility, which offers a direct connection to the airport and commuter rail to both Boston and Providence. The Hilton Garden Inn and IronWorks Tavern were the first projects to be completed in the neighborhood.
Recent developments include the ongoing construction of a $23 million Hyatt hotel, the opening of Proclamation Ale's new brewery and tasting facility, completion of a $3.7-million pedestrian enhancement to Coronado Road, the planned revitalization of the former Leviton property, and several other major mixed use projects in the exploratory phase. Existing businesses have also been making aesthetic improvements to their properties, further enhancing the character of the neighborhood.
"It is exciting to see the transformation of City Centre Warwick into our vision of a new downtown, where the multi-modal transit options are the cornerstone of creating a vibrant, unique, 24/7 "live/work/play" environment," the mayor said in a statement. "There are tremendous economic development opportunities here, and I greatly welcome the opportunity to promote Warwick to an international audience. With its proximity to the airport, which now offers international flights, City Centre Warwick especially makes a lot of sense as an option for foreign companies looking to expand their reach into the United States."
"This trip also offers us a chance to strengthen further our ties with our friends in Ireland, which can only help both our state and their companies flourish, and increase business and tourism activity on both sides of the Atlantic," the mayor said.
Avedisian said that no city funds are being used for this trade mission.