Pasadena’s Alexandria Real Estate Equities Buys GE’s Boston Headquarters Site for $252 Million

Published : Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 4:43 AM

A 2016 rendering of GE's then-proposed headquarters in Boston. (Courtesy of GE)

General Electric, the iconic conglomerate that provided jobs to thousands of Americans from the 1940s through the 2000s but has struggled in recent years, has sold its would-be headquarters at Fort Point in Boston’s Seaport District to Pasadena-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $252 million.

GE had envisioned a new $200 million, 12-story headquarters facility on the 2.7-acre property. In February, the company said it will not follow through on the plans, and will instead sell the property and reimburse the state of Massachusetts for an $87 million investment in the company’s new headquarters.

GE is reportedly planning to move its executive team and 250 employees into the pair of smaller buildings on the Necco Street site under a 12-year lease for 95,000 square feet.

The balance of the property, including a roughly one-acre land parcel and permits for a 297,000-square-foot tower, are considered prime candidates for a life science development by Alexandria Real Estate.

Alexandria is partnering with National Development and Charles River Realty in the acquisition, a Boston Herald report said.

The report added the quasi-public state agency MassDevelopment will get almost $98M from the deal.

Ann Klee, GE’s vice president for Boston development and operations, said the company is “fully committed to Boston and proud to call it home.”

Alexandria has not announced what it intends to do with the property but the company is best known for its Alexandria Center at One Kendall Square in Cambridge, as well as major life science facilities in Manhattan, San Francisco, Maryland and elsewhere.

In December 2018, Alexandria opened Alexandria LaunchLabs at the Alexandria Center, which is now home to 13 new member companies rigorously selected from a deep pool of applicants based on the quality of their science, leadership teams and business strategies.

“This site offers a tremendous opportunity to continue to expand our presence in the top life science cluster in the world and to deliver an inclusive, collaborative and vibrant development,” an Alexandria spokesman said in a statement about the new Boston acquisition. “We are excited to have GE’s headquarters onsite.”

Alexandria has acquired other properties in South Boston, and it has proposed a 210,000 square-foot lab building at 99 A Street, along with Anchor Line Partners.

Alexandria and National Development reportedly purchased a parking garage at 10 Necco St. in March for $81.1 million.

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