General Electric Corporation is in the process of relocating their global headquarters, currently located in Fairfield, Connecticut, and many view Atlanta as the early favorite. Although the company is not planning to name a location until the end of the year, GE officials will be touring the state of Georgia this October, in hopes of narrowing in on a suitable location to house the approximately 800 employees who work in the corporate office. The apparent reason for relocation stems from Connecticut’s hefty corporate tax rates and, according to CEO Jeffrey Immelt, a desire to benefit from a state with a “more pro-business environment.”
While GE has received inquiries from several cities from multiple states, Atlanta has several advantages. In terms of the corporate taxes that influenced GE to actively search for a new home, Georgia is much lower than many other states, with a flat rate of 6% and the possibility for further downward adjustments. In addition, many of these low-business tax states are offering training programs for the local labor force, which point to an emphasis on job growth and economic development. GE, being a global company, must also feel positively about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport having more non-stop flights than any other airport in the nation.
The state of Georgia and its real estate developers have been exceptionally proactive in their fight to reel in a Fortune 500 company such as GE. Specifically, the Integral Group LLC and their leasing representative Cushman & Wakefield have created outlines that describe how GE’s headquarter could occupy their mixed-used project called Assembly, which was formerly the General Motors plant in Doraville, Georgia. Another layout for a potential GE office came from Tishman Speyer regarding their Three Alliance Center tower in Buckhead. Both of these spaces will surely be discussed during GE’s visit to Georgia this October.