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Gillette To Move Razor Blade Manufacturing Out Of South Boston

Gillette's World Shaving Headquarters in South Boston.

Shaving company Gillette is trimming its South Boston campus by moving its longstanding manufacturing operations to a facility in Andover. 

Procter & Gamble, which owns the razor blade manufacturer, said it will move the operations to a 150-acre P&G campus in Andover and will offer the existing 450 manufacturing employees jobs at the new site, the Boston Globe first reported.

The 750 other employees in corporate, engineering and research and development will stay on the Gillette headquarters campus in South Boston, the company said. 

The employees are expected to move within the next two to three years, and they will join the roughly 200 employees already in Andover. The move is part of a bigger $1B plan to revitalize both campuses in the next decade.

The plan would end more than a century of razor-blade manufacturing in South Boston, as Gillette first moved there in 1904 with a factory on West First Street, the Globe reported. Since P&G acquired the company in 2005, the fate of the iconic campus has been up in the air.

In 2019, P&G announced it was assessing the possible move to invest in more modern processing facilities, WCVB reported. The announcement came as a surprise to elected officials at the time. 

The relocation would open the 34-acre campus up for more potential redevelopment along the Fort Point channel, Gillette said. The neighborhood has surged with new development of labs, offices, housing and retail in recent years.

Gary Coombe, CEO of P&G's grooming business, told the Globe the company plans to remain “at the center” of the efforts to redevelop the manufacturing site. 

“We have the opportunity now, working closely with the community, to reimagine a much brighter future with housing, climate resilient development, waterfront parks, jobs and economic growth," he said, according to the Globe. 

Gillette has sold other pieces of land from its South Boston campus including a 6.5-acre lot to Related Beal for $218M, a block of properties on West Second and West Third streets to Anchor Line Partners for $31.1M and a 2.4-acre site that was once the General Electric headquarters for $83M.

Tishman Speyer filed a proposal in February for a 455K SF mixed-use development on a former Gillette surface parking lot adjacent to the company's world headquarters. The development company bought the land from Gillette in 2021 for $80M.