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Bound For Boston, GE CEO Puts Conn. Mansion Up For Sale

Michael Dwyer

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt has put his four-acre New Canaan mansion on the market for $5.5 million. He’s lived there since 2001. Immelt is moving to Boston along with 200 top GE executives when the company relocates this year.

Ed Jordan, with the commercial real estate agency Northeast Private Client Group, says those 200 vacancies could have a ripple effect on property values that will go down to commercial real estate, including restaurants and retail outlets.

“If you remove from the equation hundreds of high-earning households, that diminishes the purchasing power, that diminishes the demand for retail. Ultimately the values of the properties diminish because of that.”

Immelt’s leaving a 10,000-square foot mansion behind for a comparatively cramped 3,000-square foot condo in the heart of Boston. But, like real estate agents say, it’s all about location. And right now, they say urban areas are in far more demand than quiet suburbs. Young people want walkable neighborhoods with restaurants and bars. Jordan says that’s why the hot spots in Connecticut real estate are in some of the state’s largest cities, like Stamford and New Haven.

“New Haven has created a very favorable environment for investors to go in and convert obsolete office properties, for example, and benefit from the desire of educated young people to choose to live in urban core locations.”

GE is expected to move from Fairfield to Boston this summer. Last week the company announced it’s moving most of the jobs from its Fairfield headquarters to Norwalk. That’s 500-600 employees who will stay in Connecticut. 

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.