Fidelity Investments said Friday it plans to move the company's Boston headquarters to 245 Summer St., eventually vacating the corporate offices at 82 Devonshire St. where chairman Edward "Ned" C. Johnson 3d has worked since the 1970s.
The old building houses 600 employees, who will eventually be moved to other locations of the mutual fund and brokerage giant. Fidelity already has 2,900 employees at 245 Summer St., which is next to South Station, including president Abigail P. Johnson, and Ronald O'Hanley, head of asset management and corporate services.
For many years, top executives worked in offices just down the hall from Fidelity's chairman on Devonshire. The executive suite area there includes a Zen garden in a small courtyard.
Fidelity employs about 10,000 Massachusetts residents, including 6,000 in the Boston area — less than half the number it had in the city in 2006. Its decisions to move employees to other states — notably New Hampshire and Rhode island — have raised concerns among city officials and others working to keep financial services jobs in Boston. Fidelity has about 5,400 employees in New Hampshire and 3,400 in Rhode Island.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement Friday that Fidelity's decision was "great news for our city."
"Situated at the crossroads of the Financial District and the Innovation District, this site is already a key location for Fidelity and will make a terrific headquarters," Menino said. "I am very pleased to see their continued interest and investment in this area of Boston."
In a statement, Edward Johnson said, "Our new headquarters provides optimum facilities for integrating our various businesses located in Boston and is better suited to meet our future needs."
Fidelity said it will sell or lease 82 Devonshire and surrounding parcels it owns on the block. That could create a new site for development in the Financial District. Fidelity also has offices in the Seaport area, in the World Trade Center complex, and elsewhere downtown.
Frank Petz, a managing director for the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, said properties such as Fidelity's in the heart of downtown are in demand, even older buildings. "Boston is hot,'' he said, adding that there would be "plenty of investors lining up for that."
Beth Healy can be reached at email@example.com.