Business & Tech

EF Education seeks aid to expand in Cambridge

EF Education First's new headquarters has living-room like atriums for meetings.
Globe Staff/File
EF Education First plans a $133 million expansion of its headquarters in the North Point section of Cambridge.

Swiss company EF Education First is expanding its campus in Cambridge overlooking the Charles River again — with some financial help from Massachusetts.

The company is in line to receive tax credits from the state to help underwrite a $133 million expansion of its campus in the North Point section of Cambridge, to accommodate as many as 300 new jobs.

The size of the subsidy is not yet public. The state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council is scheduled to vote on the EF deal at its meeting March 22, when it will review other requests for state and local tax incentives. State officials typically don’t disclose the amounts of tax incentives until the council meeting.


EF said it considered expanding in California last year, weighing the purchase of a 400,000-square-foot campus in San Jose. But the company said it was persuaded to make its expansion here instead by officials in Governor Charlie Baker’s administration.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The company, which uses the Cambridge campus as its US headquarters, offers language classes and overseas educational trips.

The expansion involves a third North Point building, totaling about 300,000 square feet, similar in size to the one EF opened in 2014. The new, 12-story building would include office and educational space, student housing units, and a fitness center. It would be on a 3-acre parcel EF plans to buy from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation for $20 million. The deal would allow the agency to build a new maintenance and operations facility.

An EF spokesman said the company also recently acquired a property nearby on Monsignor O’Brien Highway, across from the Museum of Science. EF employs about 1,150 people locally, but expects that will grow to 1,650 by 2024.

The economic council is also scheduled to approve tax breaks for several other major companies.


Wayfair, the online retailer in Boston, is slated to receive state tax credits for a $105 million expansion, which could lead to another 460 jobs. Based in Copley Place, the fast-growing company already employs about 2,880 people locally. Wayfair declined to comment.

Twins Enterprise is a distributor of sports apparel better known as 47 Brand. It is opening a new warehouse in East Bridgewater, a $21 million project that will add 30 jobs. The company is expected to get state tax credits, as well as a $536,000 break on its local tax bill.

05/04/16: Boston, MA: Mike Festa is pictured in the Wayfair Virtual Reality Lab as he uses a 3D device that allows him to move the chess like pieces that represent different furniture pieces and place them where he wants them in a virtual space. Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis) section:business topic:wayfair
Wayfair, the online retailer, wants state tax credits for a $105 million expansion.

Meanwhile, the council is expected to approve a nearly $16 million property tax break from the city of Chelsea for the Emerald Corporate Center, which owns the building where the FBI just moved its local offices.

Another deal involves Boston Globe Media Partners, the Globe’s ownership entity, which is slated to receive a $1.3 million, 10-year tax abatement from Taunton, where the company invested $72 million in a new printing operation.

Neither of those two deals involves state tax credits.

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.