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Boeing Expected to Reveal New Home

Aerospace: Reports say the company may announce the winning city today, as Chicago, Dallas and Denver vie to become its headquarters.

May 10, 2001|PETER PAE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Boeing Co. said Wednesday that it has completed a review of three cities it targeted for a new corporate headquarters and that a decision is imminent.

Officials at Seattle-based Boeing declined to say when an announcement would be made, but a Seattle newspaper reported Wednesday that the selection may be revealed as early as today.

Chicago, Dallas and Denver are vying to become the new home of the world's largest aerospace concern, offering packages of multimillion-dollar tax breaks.

Boeing Chairman Phil Condit is expected to call local officials while flying to the winning city in a private jet, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. Boeing is not expected to file a flight plan until it takes off, hoping to keep the news a secret for a few hours longer.

The company shocked Seattle--and much of corporate America--by announcing in March that it is moving its headquarters out of the city where William Boeing created the company 85 years ago, making it synonymous with aircraft manufacturing.

The move, Boeing said at the time, is part of a reorganization to give more independence to its three core businesses--commercial airplanes in the Seattle area, military jets and missiles in St. Louis and space and communications business in Southern California.

A news conference will be held in the winning city after Condit arrives, the Post-Intelligencer said. Boeing also plans to run ads in the newspapers of all three cities on the same day.

A Boeing spokesman declined to comment about the reports, saying only that the final selection will be made by Condit.

"We can't talk about the logistics or the schedule of the announcement," the spokesman said. "We do have a plan in process."

Speculation about the impending announcement has been building in recent weeks.

The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that Boeing had narrowed its list of choices to individual sites in each city: a downtown Chicago building that once housed Morton International Co.; a one-time data processing center near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; and a downtown office tower in Denver.

The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that Chicago is the front-runner, contradicting a Houston television report that Dallas is the lead choice.

Denver appeared to be off the radar, as no published report picked the city. Denver rolled out former Broncos quarterback John Elway to meet and dine Boeing officials.

Boeing officials had said they hoped to announce the city by the end of this month and have about half of the 1,000 employees at the Seattle headquarters moved to the new city by September.

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