Agreement details incentives offered to GE for Boston move

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2016 file photo, the GE logo adorns a sign on the General Electric Co., corporate headquarters campus in Fairfield, Conn. General Electric announced Wednesday it will move its headquarters from Fairfield to the Seaport District of Boston. General Electric’s relocation has many in Fairfield fretting over the loss of tax revenue, charitable spending, and the prestige that comes with being home to a $130 billion company. (AP Photo/Michael Melia, File)

BOSTON (AP) — City and state officials offered General Electric Co. a package of incentives ranging from a public helipad to a joint concierge relocation team to help secure the move of the company’s headquarters to Boston, according to an agreement made public on Wednesday.

The five-page memorandum of understanding, released to The Associated Press and other media outlets following a public records request, was signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh and GE chairman Jeff Immelt on Jan. 13, the day the $130 billion global industrial company announced it was relocating its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Boston’s Seaport District.

As previously disclosed, the city offered the company up to $25 million in direct property tax relief while the state put up $120 million in grants for infrastructure improvements in and around the eventual Seaport District site, which hasn’t been determined.

The memorandum of understanding details what some of the incentives could entail, including corporate air access for GE executives. The city and state would coordinate with GE to build a new helicopter landing facility while helping the company secure parking for a corporate jet and a helicopter at Logan International Airport and a hangar site for six executive jets at Hanscom Airport in suburban Bedford.

The $120 million in infrastructure grants could also go toward a variety of other purposes including public parking facilities, traffic and street improvements, landscaping and a $5 million innovation center that would be located near the company’s headquarters to forge connections with innovators from state research institutions and the higher-education community.

Besides those incentives, the agreement says the company would benefit from other initiatives financed by the city that would boost the Seaport District, including a $100 million reconstruction of the deteriorating Northern Avenue Bridge, a more than century-old span currently closed to vehicular traffic and pedestrians.

The concierge relocation team, formed by the state and the city, would offer a variety of services for GE employees moving from Connecticut to the Boston area, including help buying homes.

Massachusetts won out over several states competing to host GE’s headquarters. GE announced in June it was considering a move after Connecticut lawmakers passed business tax increases, some of which were later scaled back.

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