GE at The Banks benefits from corporate America leaving the suburbs for downtowns

When General Electric starts moving its top executive team from a 70-acre wooded campus in Fairfield, Conn., to downtown Boston this month, The New York Times reports that the renovated red brick warehouses that will form part of G.E.’s new headquarters won’t even have a parking lot, let alone a spot reserved for the chief executive.

The move is part of a wave of similar decisions from large corporations to move headquarters back into downtown areas, including McDonald's, Motorola and Kraft Heinz relocating to downtown Chicago from far-flung suburbs.
“Part of it is that cities are more attractive places to live than they were 30 years ago and are more willing to provide tax incentives, and young people want to be there,” David J. Collis, who teaches corporate strategy at Harvard Business School, tells The Times. “But the trend also represents the deconstruction and disaggregation of the traditional corporate headquarters. The executive suite might be downtown, but you could have the back office and administrative functions in Colorado, the finance guys in Switzerland and the tax team in the U.K.”

The first 175 members of G.E.’s management team will move to Boston’s Fort Point section on Aug. 22, and a total of about 800 G.E. employees will be based there eventually.

“Hundreds of other workers in back-office functions like human resources, legal and finance will be scattered among G.E.’s existing locations in Cincinnati, Norwalk, Conn., and Schenectady, N.Y.,” The Times reports.

Read the full New York Times story here.
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