Business & Tech

GE offers peek at headquarters plan — by mistake

BOSTON, MA - 2/02/2016: Big parking lot that stretches out towards the Gillette Complex down the channel. GE may be going there for its permanent HQ. 253 Summer is a building that cuves along Melcher Street in Fort Point, from Summer down to Necco St. In the background are the two empty warehouse buildings behind it, on Necco Ct. A (David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo) SECTION: BUSINESS TOPIC 04summer(2)
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2016
Two brick warehouses on Necco Court will be refurbished as part of General Electric’s new headquarters in South Boston.

Close watchers of a General Electric Co. smartphone app (yes, companies have apps) got an inadvertent sneak peek of at least the company’s vision for its headquarters campus along Fort Point Channel.

An image of the campus – a new tall, glassy building rising alongside two refurbished brick warehouses on Necco Court – appeared Friday night and Saturday morning on GE Boston, an app devoted to the company’s move here. It was taken down late Saturday morning after Globe inquiries, but not before popping up on Twitter, thanks to a few eagle-eyed GE observers.

The rendering is very preliminary, said GE spokeswoman Sue Bishop, “one of many options” the company and its architects at Gensler are considering. And it was posted accidentally, as an image alongside a piece on a speech here last week by the company’s general counsel.


But it’s not that informal – the rendering was part of the presentation general counsel Alex Dimitrief gave at the New England General Counsel Symposium on Wednesday.

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And it hints at what GE has in mind for the 2.5-acre site it’s buying from Procter & Gamble to become its global headquarters as it moves from suburban Fairfield, Conn.. A mix of new and old, with public space – there’s a wide covered atrium between the two buildings – and places for GE to show off what it’s up to, and visitors to come learn about one of the world’s biggest tech and industrial companies. There are pedestrians and and a gently sloping staircase down toward Fort Point Channel. It’s unclear how tall the new building would be, but it appears to be at least eight stories.

Bishop made clear that it’s just an idea at this point.

“We’re still considering several options,” she said.

More formal plans aren’t far off. GE plans to file a proposal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority by August, and wants to occupy the complex by 2018.

Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.