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General Electric announces move to Boston; Gov. Malloy responds

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FAIRFIELD — General Electric is officially moving its global headquarters from Connecticut to Boston, the company announced Wednesday. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said the company will sell its Fairfield office and settle in the the Seaport District of Boston.

GE first revealed last summer that it was considering moving its corporate headquarters from Fairfield to another state. Many lawmakers said they were bluffing at the time, but on Wednesday the company proved they were not.

General Electric

"We were highly competitive," said Gov. Dannel Malloy in a press conference Wednesday held at Pegasus Manufacturing in Middletown. "You're not going to turn Connecticut around on a dime. GE already has over 5,000 workers in Massachusetts."

However, GE has been considering the composition and location of its headquarters for more than three years. The company began its formal review in June 2015, which is when the news became public.

Immelt said that the Boston area has a diverse, technological workforce that fits with its aspirations. Transportation was another major selling point for Boston, with its close proximity to Logan International Airport.

“GE aspires to be the most competitive company in the world,” said Immelt. “Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations. 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. We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city.”

The high-tech global industrial company, which has called Fairfield home since 1974, also announced it will sell its headquarters and offices at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City to help cover costs for the move to Boston's Seaport District.

Gov Malloy 1 13Several states had been competing to lure the company from Fairfield since GE announced in June that it was unhappy about legislative tax proposals and thinking about a move. Connecticut's General Assembly later passed a revised budget that scaled back some of the business-related tax increases, but GE continued hearing pitches from other states as it said it was seeking a more business-friendly home.

In all, the company says it considered 40 locations outside of Connecticut before deciding on Boston, to which a move will be completed during 2018.

GE employs about 5,700 people in Connecticut, including 800 at its headquarters.

"We win some, we lose some," Gov. Malloy said. "Luckily, we've won more than we lost, but this hurts."

Malloy also said that he sees the move as an indication that the state must keep adapting to a changing business climate.

“While GE’s headquarters may be leaving, I have been assured that the company will continue to have many employees working here in Connecticut,” said Malloy.

There is no material financial impact to GE related to the cost of the move. Working with GE, Massachusetts and the City of Boston structured a package of incentives that provides benefits to the State and City, while also helping offset the costs of the relocation to GE. GE will sell its offices in Fairfield and at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to further offset the cost of the move.

The headquarters will be located in the Seaport District of Boston. Employees will move to a temporary location in Boston starting in the summer of 2016, with a full move completed in several steps by 2018. GE will host a public briefing in Boston with government officials, and business and community leaders, on February 18, 2016.

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