In the wake of GE leaving Connecticut for Boston, news that Hartford anchor Aetna is shopping for office space in Boston is concerning at best.  “You can’t even put it into words,” state House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter, D-Hartford, said. “It’s a pillar. It is so critical to the city. It’s so critical to the suburban towns around it.”

Digging deeper the Courant suggests it could be just the top levels of management that relocate.  While that would be some good news for the 6000 employees working and living in greater Hartford, the bad news could still be the impact on Aetna’s involvement in the city and commitment to local philanthropic causes if their key leaders begin to connect with organizations in Boston instead.

Impacts could start immediately in the real estate world.  Hesitance for current Aetna employees to buy a house in unsure times, and the possibility of a large number of properties going on the market in greater Hartford if employees relocate could put a damper on recovery of the housing market in the area. Even the current trend toward development of new housing in the city of Hartford could be slowed if the perceived demand decreases.

City Shaken By Suggestion That Aetna Might Move Headquarters — Hartford Courant