GE, rent-free? Boston lured General Electric with perks - Metro US

GE, rent-free? Boston lured General Electric with perks

The Necoo Street area of Fort Point in South Boston where General Electric will bu
Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

General Electric, the mega-corporation formerly rooted in Connecticut, has gotten lots of attention following its announcement that it would be moving its headquarters to Boston.

The deal that’s bringing the company and 800 of its top employees to the Hub is also coming under scrutiny, especially a provision that could allow GE to work in a Fort Point office building rent-free for 20 years.

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GE announced last week it plans to move into and refurbish two buildings on Necco Street, near the Gillette building along the Fort Point Channel, while also constructing a brand new building nearby. In the meantime, it plans to work temporarily out of a facility on Farnsworth Street, also in Fort Point.

The deal comes along with a reported $145 million in incentives, including $120 million from the state in building expenses and $25 million in property tax relief from the city.

It also includes $125 million in transit upgrades, including a possible rehab of the Northern Avenue Bridge.

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Officials have said the deal is not yet finalized, but it could allow the Boston Redevelopment Authority to own the property and lease it to the company gratis for up to two decades, according to language in a summary of incentives signed in January by GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker.

GE would only be required to pay for operating costs, taxes and renovations, according to the document.

Walsh and Baker have touted the GE move as a boon for a city aiming to attract and retain top talent and bolster its growing technology sector.

GE’s top brass, meanwhile, are scheduled to appear with Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday to “unveil more details” on the move, according to a press release.

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