General Electric details Boston HQ space in letter

–Gene J. Puskar / AP

General Electric gave a little bit of insight into its plans for its future Seaport headquarters space Thursday, filing a letter of intent with the Boston Redevelopment Authority with a handful of details.

The site is home to two brick buildings that formerly housed the Necco candy company. GE has also previously said it plans to erect a new, third building on the site.

“The project will reflect both the Project Site’s industrial past and GE’s digital future,” the letter to the BRA reads.

The new 12-story building will occupy 293,000 square feet, according to the letter. The Necco buildings’ renovation will see the two structures connected “by a shared lobby with elevators set within an atrium and winter garden,” according to the letter.


The old buildings and the new one will be connected to the Necco buildings by a pedestrian footbridge. The company is also proposing a ground-level plaza that will run under a glass canopy, connecting Necco Street to Fort Point Channel. The project will also involve opening up more than 42,000 square feet as public open space.

The campus “will contain uses intended to activate tidelands and promote public use and enjoyment of the Fort Point Channel shoreline,” the letter says, noting state rules that say projects built along waterfronts must allow for significant public access on the ground level.

Last weekend, GE accidentally published a visual of the site in an app. The company quickly took down the sketch, saying it was just one possible plan for the project.

The site will have a variety of uses aside from serving as office space for bigwigs of the 11th-ranked company on the Fortune 500. According to the letter, those uses will include a coffee bar, a museum, and a co-working area.

Officials recently announced that MassDevelopment, the state’s economic development arm, will own the two Necco buildings and lease them to GE. The state’s ownership will allow the purchase and renovations of the buildings to be paid for with $120 million in state infrastructure grants that were offered to lure the company to Boston from Connecticut, a move that was announced in January. The company plans to move in to the new headquarters by 2018.

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