Economic Development Advisors

Leveraging over 50 years of proven experience, we provide data-driven advisory services to local governments, economic development organizations, and investors to make effective economic development and real estate decisions.

Navigating Ideation to Reality

Commercial Real Estate Services

EDFRI offers extensive experience in the conceptualization, capitalization, investment analysis, and execution of commercial real estate development projects. EDFRI provides a flexible and cost-effective option for cities/towns, investors, and property owners to secure advisory expertise in advancing projects from concept to market.

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Development Impact Analysis

Working with cities/towns or private developers, EDFRI can perform economic and/or fiscal impact analyses resulting from development projects or economic development strategies. These impact analyses can have value in securing public sector support and securing/awarding incentives.

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Tax-Increment Financing

Tax-Increment Financing is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used by cities and towns to underwrite a wide array of economic and community development projects including infrastructure, real estate development, and workforce training to name but a few.  EDFRI can assist cities and towns in analyzing and designing tax-increment financing districts and programs consistent with state statutes.

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Strategey & Program Design

EDFRI can assist cities and towns in designing economic development strategies and programs. Examples of programs/services include omnibus tax-stabilization programs, redevelopment district planning, small-business revolving loan programs, economic development element to municipal comprehensive plans, advisory services to redevelopment agencies and economic development organizations/commissions, and meeting facilitation.

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Program & Project Management

EDFRI can be engaged by town and municipal government to manage economic development programs and services.  EDFRI is also available to provide representation to municipal government when negotiating with private developers and businesses. 
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Understanding How

Communities & Projects Evolve

Leveraging its experience in commercial real estate development and economic development strategy planning, EDFRI saw increasing opportunity and demand for using its experience and expertise working with cities and towns in defining and advancing their economic development agendas. Some examples of these services include:


Innovate Newport

Selection by the City of Newport as the Preferred Developer for the repositioning of a vacant elementary school into $8 million innovation and co-work facility


Commercial Real Estate Planning

Providing advisory services to the Burrillville Economic Development Partnership in the development of multiple industrial buildings and the management and marketing of the Town’s Commerce Park


Town of Burrillville

Representing the Town of Burrillville in the negotiation with Daniele Foods for the company’s land acquisition and expansion into one of the world’s largest charcuterie processing facilities

Innovate Newport Picture

Economic Development Strategy

Providing advisory services to a redevelopment agency, authoring two redevelopment plans and acting as an interim manager of a city’s planning and development department.


EDFRI Selected to Facilitate Execution of Redevelopment Plan

The Burrillville Redevelopment Agency recently selected EDFRI to facilitate the execution of the Village of Nasonville Redevelopment Plan. 

The Burrillville Redevelopment Agency (BRA) recently agreed to engage the services of EDFRI to facilitate the execution of the redevelopment plan for the Village of Nasonville. The plan, which was written by EDFRI, outlines various execution tasks including modifications to the Town’s land use regulations, various infrastructure initiatives, and design and adoption of various investment incentives. EDFRI will also serve as the BRA’s representative in working with prospective investors/developers.


Nasonville Redevelopment District Officially Adopted By Burrillville Town Council

The Burrillville Town Council formally adopted the Nasonville Redevelopment District. The Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island will now begin to facilitate - with the Burrillville Redevelopment Agency - the identification and execution of specific tasks outlined in the redevelopment plan. 


Local Governments

Local governments typically lack the human resources and/or technical expertise to design, analyze, and manage economic development strategies and development projects. EDFRI provides local leaders with a flexible and affordable resource to advance efficacy in the attraction and retention of private investment, and to design and execute public projects.
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Commercial Property Owners

Owners of commercial real estate are confronted with significant headwinds in a market where conventionally funded projects typically don't pencil out. Stagnant market rent rates, high costs of capital, challenging lender underwriting criteria, market shifts in various asset classes, and an adversarial local regulatory environment present significant barriers to investment. EDFRI is well positioned to assist property owners and investors in designing development strategies and public support that result in heightened prospects for success.

Michael C. Wood

Town Manager, Town of Burrillville

"I’m very familiar with the great work provided by EDFRI, having been associated with the organization and its principal(s) for over 25 years. Through its cutting-edge work in the areas of economic development and redevelopment, I would strongly recommend EDFRI to other municipal leaders who need external services in the design and execution of economic development initiatives."


Joseph Nicholson Jr.

City Manager, City of Newport

"Under the leadership of Scott Gibbs, EDFRI was selected by the City of Newport to manage the conceptualization, design, and capitalization of the $8 million Innovate Newport project. This project entailed the repurposing of a vacant, historic elementary school into an innovation hub and co-work facility. I am pleased to endorse EDFRI’s services."

Greg Post

President, Bowerman Construction

"As a construction professional in the Rhode Island and SE Massachusetts marketplace, I’ve had the pleasure of working directly and indirectly with the Economic Development Foundation of RI – Highland on multiple real estate and construction developments over the past 20 years. EDFRI offers its clients and business partners valuable real estate expertise. EDFRI has many strengths including managing complex real estate and capital structures, access, and connections to local and state resources to streamline successful deal flow and to top it off an impeccable reputation with and in the business community. I would highly recommend EDFRI to any business owner looking to hire Scott and his firm for their real estate needs."

Jeffrey J. Barr

President, Burrillville Economic Development Partnership

I have worked with EDFRI for close to 25 years now.  As Vice Chair of the Burrillville Redevelopment Authority, we relied on EDFRI’s expertise in the commercial real estate market, federal and state grants, and understanding of local politics to help us move Burrillville forward with a number of projects.  As President of the Burrillville Economic Development Partnership, I have relied on EDFRI’s expertise in the commercial real estate market and  knowledge of local government in Burrillville with the marketing of Commerce Industrial Park as well as other additional projects we have been looking at to help benefit the town of Burrillville. I highly recommend EDFRI  as our ongoing consultant to the Burrillville Economic Development partnership.


Who We Are

The Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island, Inc. (EDFRI) is a private, not-for-profit corporation established in the early 1960’s, albeit adopting a name change in 2005. Throughout its history, EDFRI primarily focused on the strategy of commercial real estate development including the development and management of industrial and corporate parks and several high-quality flex buildings. EDFRI has been directly involved in the development of over 500 acres of industrial and office park development and over $500 million of private, commercial real estate investment.

Strategic Partnships

Camoin Associates

Camoin Associates is the nation’s only full-service economic development consulting firm with more than 20 years of experience working with public and private clients to generate economic resiliency and prosperity. Camoin Associates’ services include real estate, industry, and workforce market and feasibility analysis; tax increment financing and development financing; and more. All of Camion Associates’ work is grounded in analytics leading to specific strategies and actions. Learn more at

Make More Informed Decisions

Backed By Experience

500 +

acres of industrial and office park development

50 +

Years of Data-Driven Execution

500 M

 of private, commercial real estate investment

The Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island

Focused on Execution, Driven by Data.

In 2022, the Board of Directors of EDFRI decided to exit its commercial real estate development and investment activities and instead focus its efforts in providing market-leading consulting and advisory services to cities and towns, small businesses, and owners and developers of industrial and commercial properties. EDFRI’s mission is to provide data-driven advisory and consulting services with the goal of enhancing the market value of commercial properties in need of repositioning, and to enhance the capacity of local government to make sound, effective economic development decisions. 

1300 Highland Corporate Dr #202, Cumberland, RI 02864

(401) 658-1050