GE to invest up to $45M in Schenectady campus

General Electric plans to invest up to $45 million in its downtown Schenectady campus, the Schenecta
The GE plant in Schenectady, as seen from Erie Boulevard and State Street today (Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016).
The GE plant in Schenectady, as seen from Erie Boulevard and State Street today (Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016).

General Electric plans to invest up to $45 million in its Schenectady campus, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority announced today.

GE is looking to renovate 72,000 square feet of office space in Building 40, another 40,000 square feet of office space in Building 5, and 31,000 square feet of space in Building 43.

The total price tag for the renovations is as much as $45 million. The Metroplex board approved a sales-tax exemption to support the project during a meeting this evening. The exemption will save GE up to $1.26 million.

The Schenectady campus is 639 acres and is home to GE Power, GE Renewable Energy, GE Energy Storage, steam turbine and generator manufacturing, a wind energy remote operations center, and corporate support functions.

“We are pleased to support additional GE investments in Schenectady County,” Metroplex chair Ray Gillen said. “This investment by GE continues the many improvements at the Schenectady campus over recent years.”

The sales-tax exemption will be for building materials purchased for the renovation projects, Gillen said.

The improvements to the buildings include a renovated employee wellness center and redesigned fitness center at Building 43. Other improvements planned are upgrades to roads, sidewalks and landscaping.

Renovations to the office buildings will be focused on making work spaces more contemporary with new lighting, flooring and windows.

Project renovations already are underway and are expected to be done by the end of the year, according to GE spokesperson Chris Horne.

“We’re committed to providing our employees with a contemporary work environment that enables them to collaborate, innovate and work most effectively, which in turn generates better outcomes for customers,” Horne said in a statement.

GE recently completed the renovation of a new welcome center in Building 33, which has conference rooms and other offerings for visitors on campus. The building was under construction for most of last year and opened in December.

GE announced last week that it plans to add 100 new jobs at GE Global Research in Niskayuna. New labs planned there include the Edge Lab, which would focus on development of artificial intelligence and robots.

Other new labs include a Performance and Cost Lab, devoted to trying to lower product production costs, along with a Science of Product Leadership Lab.

The announcement came on the same day GE said it plans to eliminate 6,500 jobs in Europe as part of a global restructuring effort while the company seeks $3 billion in cost savings from its purchase of Alstom’s energy business.

Also last week, GE said it plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston. The move will start this summer and is expected to be completed by 2018.

Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.

Categories: Business, News

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