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General Electric’s Boston headquarters moves closer to 2018 opening date

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Wins key city approval

The Boston Planning and Development Agency on Thursday evening approved General Electric’s 2.4-acre, $200,000,000 headquarters in Fort Point after postponing a vote last month because of a procedural snafu.

The vote is the biggest final hurdle for the campus, which still needs zoning and environmental approvals. Those are expected, and the company says construction should start next year, with the three-building headquarters opening in 2018.

Curiously enough, the so-called "solar veil" on the side of part of the complex has emerged as perhaps the final controversial element of the design (by Gensler Architects). GE says the canopy, which angles to as high as 65 feet above the roof, will provide 10 percent of the headquarters’ energy needs.

Per Tim Logan and Kathleen Conti in the Globe, some find the veil "extremely unusual" and a bad precedent for Boston architecture. Oh well.