GE center, 2,000 jobs slated for downtown Cincinnati

General Electric Co. plans to build its U.S. Global Operations Center at downtown Cincinnati riverfront development The Banks, ending speculation on where the center and approximately 2,000 high-paying office jobs would go, according to Cincinnati media reports.

The $146 billion manufacturer of washing machines, jet engines and medical scanners initially announced in April plans to open a shared services center somewhere in the Cincinnati market. But until now, the Fortune 500 company had yet to announce the exact and final location to build it. Sites in Cincinnati, Oakley and Mason were being considered.

GE has not confirmed the decision. A formal announcement is expected Monday.

Mason spokeswoman Jennifer Trepal declined comment, saying it was GE’s announcement to make.

Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric in April announced plans to open the center in Cincinnati, the fifth such center to open worldwide. The company will consolidate back-office functions such as finance and information technology at the Ohio center.

When it was first announced, the project was compared to Ohio winning a Fortune 500 headquarters, as the new service center will create 1,400 new jobs in the state. Some jobs will be positions transferred from other GE locations nationwide and consolidated to Cincinnati. The share of jobs to be transferred to Cincinnati, and the share of jobs for which the company will be hiring is not yet clear.

Some jobs will also be transferred from other sites in Ohio, bringing total employment at the center when it opens in 2017 to the range of 1,500 to 2,000, according to GE.

Employment could potentially grow to 2,500 jobs at the new facility, according to state records prepared for a tax credit agreement.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority in May approved an 85 percent, 15-year tax credit for GE in exchange for the creation of $111 million in new annual payroll by the end of 2017. The agreement has yet to be executed. But if GE commits in the agreement to creating 1,400 new jobs or so, and actually reaches that goal, GE is eligible to receive Ohio Job Creation Tax Credits valued at $51 million, according to Ohio Development Services Agency.

State tax credits are in addition to what the Cincinnati and Hamilton County governments might offer the project.

Construction is slated to start later in 2014 on the global operations center. Meanwhile, GE officials previously said plans are to open a temporary center in July, also in downtown Cincinnati on East Fourth Street.

The Banks is an 18-acre development on the Ohio River between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium including restaurants and apartments.

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