GE picks Boston for HQ location
State, city offer company a package of incentives
GENERAL ELECTRIC said on Wednesday that it decided to bring its headquarters and 800 workers to Boston after a careful evaluation of the city’s “business ecosystem, talent, long-term costs, quality of life for employees, connections with the world, and proximity to other company assets.”
But the company will also be receiving $25 million in tax relief over 20 years from the city of Boston, $1 million in state workforce training grants, $5 million from the state for an “innovation center,” housing assistance for GE employees, and up to $120 million from the state for public infrastructure projects.
State officials said the actual amount of public infrastructure work will depend on where the company eventually locates in the Seaport District. If the company occupies an existing building, officials said, the infrastructure work would be much less. If the company decided to build its own building, however, state officials said they have pledged as much as $120 million in capital funds for such things as new roads, highway ramps, water and sewer infrastructure, public parking facilities, site demolition, and site remediation. The state officials said the capital funds could only be used for public projects, meaning the money could not be used to retrofit private office space.
The scale of the GE infrastructure investments could dwarf what the state has done in the past. In November, for example, the state awarded $85.6 million for capital infrastructure projects in 46 municipalities, or an average of $1.86 million per community. Boston projects received nearly $7 million of the total.
The $5 million innovation center was described by state and city officials as a place “to forge connections between GE and innovators from Massachusetts research institutions and the higher education community.”It was unclear which branch of state government would provide funding for the innovation center. It was also unclear whether the housing assistance GE employees would be provided would be financial in nature.
GE in its statement noted it already has a significant presence in Massachusetts, with nearly 5,000 employees scattered across the state. In 2014, the company moved its life sciences headquarters to Marlborough and last year launched its energy services startup called Current in Boston.