UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

GE Moves Headquarters To Boston


The GENx turbine, developed by General Electric for the Bowing 747 and 748 Dreamliner airplanes.

General Electric, one of the largest conglomerates in the nation, has recently announced that it will be moving its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Boston.

The company, most known to operate in gas/electrical distribution and engine manufacturing, has received monetary incentives by Massachusetts officials in order to finalize the decision to relocate. According to Governor Charlie Baker’s statements in January, the company was offered up to $145 million in total.

This includes city property tax breaks and state investments on its new infrastructure.

GE would create around 800 new jobs at its relocation site near the waterfront.The new building would have a positive impact on the Greater Boston area job market. Two hundred of these jobs would be corporate staff, while the rest would be digital industrial product managers, designers, and developers.

In total, the Boston Redevelopment Authority estimates that in total, 1190 jobs would come to Boston through the opening of the GE headquarters, including both direct and indirect jobs.

The BRA, also estimated a total of $220 million of annual income, which would again, benefit the city in the form of $10,000 for its budget.

Apart from Massachusetts, other states such as New York, Rhode Island, and Texas tried to appeal to GE. In the end, Boston won the bid out of 40 locations considered.

The move comes after the company’s concern about the raised corporate taxes to close the budget gap in Connecticut, which GE has called home since 1974.

Furthermore, GE would find itself in a more urban, modern, and younger environment in Boston, going along their idea of establishing themselves in the digital technology market.

The Seaport District in South Boston has long been known as the center for companies that specialize in new technical, medicinal, and pharmaceutical innovation.

“We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspiration,” chairman and CEO of General Electric Jeff Immelt said recently in a published press release.

“We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city,” he said.

Immelt spoke highly of Boston’s densely-packed colleges and universities, Massachusetts’ large investments in research and development, as well as its “diverse and technologically-fluent” workforce.

GE also explained that there were other factors that were taken into consideration that Boston excelled in, such as the quality of life for employees, long-term costs, and the proximity to other resources of the company.

According to GE, the moving process will start this summer with a temporary office. The new headquarters are set to be completed and fully operating sometime in 2018.

There has been some criticism after the announcement of the city welcoming and financially supporting GE.

Protesters have urged city officials to rethink their priorities, pointing to the $50 million deficit Boston Public Schools are facing, among other branches of the city that need more funding.

Furthermore, environmentalists are concerned about the company’s negative past regarding their impact on nature.

Only recently has the company found itself in a dispute with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The case argues contamination of the Housatonic River, which flows through Massachusetts and Connecticut.

GE will need to spend about $600 million to clean up what it has disposed in the river, including polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). Harmful side effects, especially for children and wildlife, can result with exposure to PCB.

GE, however, is refuting the dispute, demanding it should be exempt from such hazardous waste governance in general.

For now, both the city and GE are standing by their decision for the relocation.