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GE postpones first big, public event in Boston since move announcement

The GE logo adorned a sign at the company’s corporate headquarters in Fairfield, Conn.
The GE logo adorned a sign at the company’s corporate headquarters in Fairfield, Conn.AP

When General Electric confirmed that it will move its headquarters to Boston, the company hinted that more information would come at a public briefing here on Feb. 18.

But now the industrial conglomerate is postponing the big event until April.

GE spokesman Seth Martin said the main reason for the delay is the need to properly coordinate all the important participants’ schedules.

In a press release announcing the move last month, the company emphasized the February event as a “public briefing in Boston with government officials, and business and community leaders, on February 18, 2016.”

Martin downplayed the delay, saying the company just wants to make sure the right people can attend the event.

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GE chief executive Jeff Immelt is still coming to town before April, for a speaking engagement at the Boston College Chief Executives Club on March 24. That event had been in the works for a while, long before GE’s decision to relocate its headquarters. The GE spokesman said Immelt was asked last year to speak at the BC event.

The company is still trying to nail down a new permanent headquarters location, to replace its current office in Fairfield, Conn.

GE, as part of its Jan. 13 announcement about the Boston move, said it is focusing its search on the Seaport area. It’s unclear whether this decision will be ready by the time of the April event. Martin declined to comment on the status of the property search.

For now, GE is moving ahead with a temporary office in space being vacated by software firm Bullhorn on Farnsworth Street later this spring. GE employees will start to relocate to that office this summer, with a full move to Boston expected to take place in stages by 2018. About 800 people will work in the new office at that point, although GE says only about 200 of those will be coming from the corporate staff. The remainder will be tech-oriented jobs such as product designers and developers.

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But GE still needs to find a more permanent location. The company has looked at the former Necco complex overlooking the Fort Point Channel as well as two brick buildings behind that structure. Synergy Investments owns the main building, whose primary address is 253 Summer St., and Procter & Gamble owns the two rear structures. Another property that has been considered is a vacant site, owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority, next to the World Trade Center T station.


Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.