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GE on track to open new Marlborough HQ by summer

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Six months after GE Healthcare Life Sciences announced it will move its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to Marlborough, the biotech giant is on track to launch its operations in the city this summer.

Erin Bryant, public relations leader for the company, said officials are finalizing floor plans for the office space at the new Marlborough headquarters, located at the former Hewlett Packard campus on Forest Street, and plan to open that space sometime in June or July.

“We will be up and running this summer,” said Bryant.

Laboratory space at the new facility is expected to be finished by the end of 2015, said Bryant

The new headquarters, which will occupy 160,000 square feet of space and share a building with Quest Diagnostics, is expected to be fully operational by 2017.

A number of employees will be relocated from GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ current headquarters in Piscataway and Princeton, New Jersey, however, most of the company’s employees will be new hires.

Bryant said the company, which has a focus on medical imaging and creates tools and technologies for use in research, manufacturing and diagnostics, is in the midst of a hiring blitz and has filled about half of the 215 new jobs, including entry-level and senior positions, needed for the summer launch.

“We’re ramping up hiring now,” said Bryant.

Once it is fully operational in two years, the facility will house 500 employees, said Bryant.

In the fall, city officials signed off on a Tax Increment Financing deal, which gives the company an exemption on property taxes that would have otherwise been levied against the value it adds to the property. The exemption starts at 100 percent and drops incrementally until it hits 25 percent in the last year of the 10-year agreement. The deal is expected to save GE about $124,500 in tax payments over the course of the deal.

In exchange for the tax break, GE agreed to retain the 77 employees it already has in Marlborough and create 220 more over the first two years of the deal.

The $4 billion life sciences arm of GE Healthcare already has two facilities in Massachusetts – one in Westborough and one in Marlborough. The smaller Marlborough operation will be folded into the new headquarters, but the Westborough manufacturing site will remain open.

While announcing the move in the summer, company officials said they chose Marlborough for its new headquarters because of its experience in the region, the proximity to Boston and a pool of companies doing strong work in life sciences.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.