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CINCINNATI - August 5, 2013 - An artist's rendition of a proposed second phase to The Banks project.
CINCINNATI -- General Electric Co. will bring its payroll and other company functions from around the country to The Banks, a real estate source told WCPO Wednesday. An official announcement that The Banks was chosen as GE's new global services center is expected early next week. The Banks has always been the front-runner to relocate at least 1,400 jobs. The other two locations were sites in Mason and Oakley.
Mason Mayor David Nichols said his city has not been informed about a final decision by GE.
"Given its record of attracting international companies, Mason (would be) disappointed (by a site selection in favor of The Banks), but yet we understand every corporation must do what’s best for their employees," Nichols said. "We get that."
Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn said his budget and finance committee will be prepared to consider tax incentives Monday.
He expects a deal would be more costly at The Banks than at Oakley Station, but adds he hasn't been briefed on any details.
"My first preference was Oakley but if they've chosen The Banks, then I'm just as elated," he said. "I would bend over backwards to put Cincinnati workers back to work, whether they came to the Banks or Oakley."
GE selected Cincinnati in April because it's close to major job centers within the company, including GE Aviation in Evendale and West Chester, GE Lighting in Cleveland and manufacturing plants in Louisville.
Mindy Rosen with Downtown Cincinnati Inc. says it's Cincinnati's time.
"It just adds more employees, more people and more residents to downtown and we see downtown expanding from the Banks, all the way to Over the Rhine including the Fountain Square District," she told WCPO reporter Amy Wadas.
GE Aviation currently employs more than 9,800 people in the state, while GE Lighting has more than 1,800 employees. GE Distributed Power, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, employs more than 200 people. GE Capital has more than 1,500 employees in Kettering and GE Oil & Gas has 220 employees in Twinsburg.
GE spends more than $5.6 billion with suppliers in Ohio, helping to support about 26,000 supplier jobs in the state.
Ohio Governor John Kasich said it's that relationship -- and an incentive package -- that helped seal the deal in April to bring GE to Cincinnati.
"With the state getting stronger and stronger, I think (GE leaders) were more and more comfortable being able to consolidate virtually 48 states into our state," Kasich said.
Company officials said the average salary of employees at the new center will be about $70,000, creating more opportunity for students at University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Cincinnati State and other local schools.
"They will be professional jobs," Joe Allen, who will manage the new center, said. "They will be competitive. We're looking at all levels from entry level to mid-career so you'll have a wide variety of pay scale."
GE is expected to break ground on the new facility in the summer and to be up and running by 2017, according to a JobsOhio press release.
The Banks center will be one of five the multinational company plans to open across the globe. The company did not indicate the locations of the other four. GE employs 305,000 people worldwide and 15,000 in Ohio.
Ohio competed with "a number of other locations" in the U.S. for the new center, officials said.
For more on the job opportunities at GE, click here for the company's employment portal.