The City Council today unanimously approved $12 million in tax breaks over seven years for construction of Vertex's planned $1-billion headquarters and lab space on Fan Pier.
City Councilor Bill Linehan, who represents South Boston and chairs the council's economic-development committee, said the new construction will mean $50 million in tax revenue over the period of the breaks.
In addition, the council approved a state proposal to spend $50 million in state funds on infrastructure improvements on and near Fan Pier for Vertex, which recently won federal approval for a possible blockbuster Hepatitis C drug.
Linehan said the Vertex project will means 1,200 jobs moving to Boston from Cambridge and up to 500 new jobs; along with up to 2,000 construction jobs during the 30 months it will take to build two new buildings for the company. "As my dad used to say, 10% of something is something, 100% of nothing is nothing."
Councilor Mike Ross (Mission Hill, Back Bay, Beacon Hill) said he was initially skeptical about using money just to attract a company across the Charles, but said he now realizes the money will help keep Vertex in the Boston area. He pointed to Facebook as a company that started here but moved elsewhere and said the Vertex project is an example of Boston retaining a growing company. He added the Fan Pier site offers Vertex something Cambridge could not - a single campus. The company is now scattered across 10 buildings in Cambridge.
Councilor Charles Yancey said he supported the measures, but said he will follow the project to ensure Boston residents in general, and minorities and women in particular, get their fair share of jobs at Vertex.