Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of joining GE Chairman Jeff Immelt, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, and other city, industry, and policy leaders to celebrate the official ground breaking of the new GE campus at Fort Point in Boston.
The City of Boston sees GE’s relocation to this waterfront neighborhood as a validation of its revitalization of the Fort Point Channel and Seaport district. The people of Boston see GE’s relocation as an opportunity to find employment with a brand that, like their city, is simultaneously historic and futuristic.
Boston is in a league of cultural creative cities where blue collar history, 21st century technology, a high density of universities, and a liberal inclination collide to celebrate its legacy of hard work while laying the track for a digital future. Bricks and bits…
The GE campus joins a chorus of industry leading pioneers in driving the green economy into its next chapter. Chapter 1: let’s treat our people right; Chapter 2: let’s get our buildings right; Chapter 3: Let’s get our communities right.
GE was established in 1892, 262 years after Boston became a city, and the same year that Boston was transfixed on the Lizzie Borden trial.
In 1892, and for the most part since then, people have lived in one place, worked in another, and played in yet another. These cultural creative cities are changing the game, however – with live, play, work spaces integrated into micro communities where the doers and the makers congregate. GE, with its extraordinarily durable and modern vision for its brand and technology is embedding itself into a hard working waterfront community. And it’s linking its campus to this city through community walkways where artists are celebrated. Rather than gather, work, then leave, Innovation Point is a place where people will linger, learn, and grow…
Boston is my town. I was born and raised there. I grew to love buildings and engineering in Boston. It’s beautiful to have a modern office building that is adapted to fit in the historic fabric of a warehouse district. Those industrialists – their present is now our present. Their meandering sidewalks, close alley ways, and close proximity to the sea came out of industry, and are our new reality with this project. GE, by reimagining these established buildings and repurposing them for the future, gives the city an experiential trip into history, and it is very exciting to be a part of it.
This highly sustainable, healthy, and climate resilient 12-story campus does not signal a change for Boston in the scope of history – it celebrates this unique place in the world that is as hard working as it is historic. This campus, like this city, is designed to endure. It uses the best of what has been built before as a foundation for our shared future. This is an ancient and proven strategy in urban development.
Since the groundbreaking, John Flannery became GE’s CEO. Flannery began working with GE in 1987 and has since worked for the company internationally and as the President and CEO of GE Healthcare. As the head of GE healthcare he helped to institute Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, which brings disruptive technology into emerging healthcare markets. Although he has not specifically mentioned how he will drive sustainable efforts in the company, his work and ethic give us confidence that the sustainability vision for Innovation Point will endure.
We can’t wait to share more about the project and the innovations that GE is taking on – it is a very special project and one that the world will take notice of for a long time.