BOEING chooses Chicago as its new headquarters

Thursday, May 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) _ Boeing Co. has chosen Chicago as the site of its new corporate headquarters, Texas government officials said Thursday.

Boeing executives planned a joint appearance with Illinois Governor George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Thursday afternoon, according to Ryan's office.

Jeff Moseley, executive director of the Texas Department of Economic Development, said Boeing had chosen Chicago over Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth.

``The governor's office has confirmed that they received communication from Boeing that they will site their world headquarters in Chicago,'' Moseley said.

In a separate statement, Gov. Rick Perry congratulated Chicago on its selection. ``All Texans knew from the outset that the competition with Chicago and Denver would be fierce.''

Boeing officials boarded a jet in Seattle shortly after 7:30 a.m., though their destination was not immediately known. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had reported Thursday that they would head to Chicago to announce that the new headquarters would be the 100 N. Riverside Plaza office building along the Chicago River.

Boeing was not commenting on the reports.

Chicago, Dallas and Denver had been competing for the aviation giant's new headquarters since March, when Boeing announced plans to move from its home of 85 years to save money and be more central to its operations in 26 states. Each city offered millions of dollars in tax breaks and other incentives and enlisted the help of sports stars and business leaders to woo the company.

Boeing spokesman John Dern said Wednesday that the site selection team had completed its research and was meeting to discuss options, but that the final decision rested with Condit.

All Boeing employees will be informed by e-mail, and Condit will call the governors of Illinois, Colorado and Texas to inform them of his choice before a public announcement is made, the newspaper said.

The company will keep its massive aircraft factories and design and development facilities in the Seattle area, where the company was founded in 1916.

Boeing has said the relocation is meant to save money and establish headquarters more centrally located to its operations, spread over 26 states.

Chicago would have little trouble handling the transportation, with hundreds of daily flights at O'Hare International.

Ryan offered $4 million to $5 million in tax incentives. Boeing, which is expected to earn about $3 billion this year, also could receive 15 years of state income tax credits, estimated at $25 million to $30 million.

Boeing has said it would like to complete the move by September.