GE picks temporary home in Fort Point
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General Electric has not yet revealed where it will locate its headquarters in Boston, but in the short term, the company is headed for Farnsworth Street in Fort Point.
Art Papas, the chief executive at software firm Bullhorn Inc., said the industrial conglomerate will lease his company's entire 45,000-square-foot headquarters space at 33-41 Farnsworth St. Bullhorn plans to move to a 77,000-square-foot space at 100 Summer St. to accommodate its growth later this spring.
"We've had an amazing six years here," Papas said. "It's great we're passing the torch to GE."
Papas said he had planned to sublease the space on Farnsworth Street to two startups. But he said GE aggressively sought the space and worked out a deal with the landlord, Clarion Partners, to move in after Bullhorn moves out.
GE spokesman Seth Martin declined to comment about the Farnsworth lease, saying some of the details are still being worked out. He said that the company wanted to establish a headquarters presence in Boston quickly and that a temporary location will allow GE to pull this off.
The timing of when the company will move in is somewhat unclear, although it probably won't take long. Papas said GE plans to use Bullhorn's desks, cubicles, and chairs.
"They're taking the furniture," Papas said. "The word on the street is that [GE chief executive] Jeff Immelt is going to sit in my office. That's what the brokers told me. . . . I'm going to leave a note for him in my desk."
When GE confirmed on Jan. 13 that it will move its headquarters to Boston from Fairfield, Conn., the company said it hoped to start shifting employees into a temporary location in Boston this summer. The full move to the new headquarters will take place over several phases by 2018.
The company said it plans to eventually employ 800 people in Boston, including 200 corporate staffers and 600 tech-oriented employees such as designers and developers. Coincidentally, about 800 people work in Fairfield, though only a portion of those workers will come to Boston.
The GE spokesman said no decision has been made yet on the permanent location. He said GE expects to disclose more information about its real estate plans in Boston during an event on Feb. 18.
GE has focused its search on the South Boston Waterfront, also known as the Seaport area. Two properties that GE has considered are a few blocks from the temporary Farnsworth Street location.
One of them, 253 Summer St., is an old industrial building owned by Synergy Investments that had once been used by the Necco candy company. Nearly 130,000 square feet in that complex, which is at the corner of Melcher and Summer streets, will open up when Neighborhood Health Plan moves early next year to a new office complex that Partners HealthCare is constructing in Somerville.
Another property that has been considered is a 1.2-acre, Massachusetts Port Authority-owned parcel on Congress Street, next to the World Trade Center MBTA station. That parcel is one of several sites that city and state officials included in their pitch to GE in December.
The company announced it was looking at leaving Connecticut in June, following a new round of state tax increases there. Officials in a number of states, including Rhode Island and New York, vigorously courted GE. Immelt said his team picked Boston because of its cluster of universities and innovation companies.
Publicly funded real estate incentives probably didn't hurt, either. Mayor Martin J. Walsh offered GE up to $25 million in property tax relief, while Governor Charlie Baker offered as much as $120 million in infrastructure work and other site-focused subsidies from the state. The size of those incentive packages will depend on the property that GE picks for its headquarters.