Siemens Snubs Germany for First Showcase Innovation Site

(Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG is leaning toward building a 600 million euro ($697 million) flagship innovation center outside Germany, rather than in its historic stomping ground of Berlin, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The engineering giant confirmed on Friday a report that it’s planning a complex called Siemens City, but a spokesman said the company hasn’t yet chosen a location. German news agency DPA reported the investment is likely earmarked for Berlin.

Instead, the company is close to choosing another global urban center, according to the person, who declined to be named because the deliberations aren’t public. The move is partly because the German capital last week rejected the use of a 250-year-old building called the Magnushaus, near where the company has long had its own installations, and has generally showed a lack of interest in the project, said the person.

Siemens City is slated to include high-tech production installations, startups and student housing, with the idea of building ties with universities. The German manufacturer’s deliberations over choosing a site mirror those of other companies including Amazon Inc. and General Electric Co., which have openly shopped around for locations for new installations like headquarters in an effort to obtain generous tax incentives or other benefits.

Berlin is home to one of Siemens’ oldest sites called Siemenstadt, which will be affected by the company’s plan to cut thousands of jobs in the country as it tries to overcome a slowdown in global demand for power plant equipment. Siemens moved its headquarters to Munich after World War II.

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