General Electric Co said it will move its global headquarters to Boston, tapping the city’s technology talent and likely lowering its tax bill as the industrial conglomerate seeks to lift profit and emphasize digital capabilities. The maker of aircraft engines, locomotives, power turbines and household appliances will move to temporary quarters by next summer, and permanently settle about 800 workers in the Seaport district by 2018, GE said. “We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations” as a leader in digital-industrial activities, GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement.
“Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research and development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world,” he added. “We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city.”
GE said the move would have no material financial impact, with costs offset by state and city incentives and the sale of its current headquarters offices in Fairfield, Connecticut, and its offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
Massachusetts will provide up to $120 million in grants and other incentives and the city will provide property tax savings of up to $25 million. The state funds must be spent on public infrastructure, including site preparation, building acquisition costs and road and building improvements, GE said.
GE also is eligible for $1 million in workforce training grants, and up to $5 million to foster relations between the company, research institutions and universities.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said GE’s decision resulted from “the city’s willingness and excitement to work creatively” to attract the company, bringing 800 high-paying jobs to the city.
The move also will lower GE’s tax bill. Even though Massachusetts is often called “Taxachusetts,” it ranked 25th in a 2016 Tax Foundation survey of positive business tax climates among U.S. states. Connecticut ranked 44th, near the bottom.