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General Electric To Call Boston Home

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General Electric has been wooed from the Connecticut suburbs to the Beantown waterfront by $145 million in incentives offered by the state of Massachusetts and city of Boston.

General Electric move from Connecticut began in June

For many insiders, General Electric’s move was just a matter of where not if. Early last summer, you could here rumblings from General Electric about an inhospitable business climate from GE, while a budget deal in the state that raised corporate taxes effectively cemented the move.

It’s a huge victory for Boston who beat out efforts by Providence, Rhode Island and New York, NY (to a lesser extent, Georgia and Texas) to incentivize a move for General Electric’s headquarters and the 800 jobs promised.

The move is expected to begin this summer from with some workers immediately relocating to a temporary home in Boston with the move expected to be completed before 2018 after the company chooses a location and gets to work building or renovating its new home.

Fairfax, Connecticut had played host to General Electric headquarters since 1974.

Why Boston, General Electric?

General Electric realizes it must innovate to remain competitive despite its value of just south of $300 billion. Boston is home to booming tech center as well as a wealth of universities in the city proper and surrounding areas.

“We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations,” GE chief executive Jeffrey R. Immelt said in a statement.

But let’s face it, on top of this wealth of technology and education any city or state was going to have to lay the incentives on thick to see General Electric move its headquarters there.

Boston offered $25 in property tax breaks in the Seaport District, while Massachusetts will be on the hook for up to $120 million depending on what site GE chooses. That potential $140 million will come via  grants, tax incentives, infrastructure improvements, and help with real estate acquisition costs. One of the sites that General Electric is said to be looking at is owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority, next to the MBTA’s World Trade Center Station on the Silver Line.

It’s a huge win for Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh who have been active suitors of GE beginning last summer.

“We had enough on the table to be competitive,” said Jay Ash, Baker’s secretary of economic development. “[But] the ecosystem that we have here in Massachusetts to support innovation is what won us this prize.”



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Brendan Byrne

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