BAE Systems plans to buy the former Anthem building

BAE Systems plans to buy the former Anthem building at Pine Island Office Park on Goffs Falls Road in Manchester.

CONCORD — Plans for the state’s largest manufacturer to expand into Manchester took a major step forward on Wednesday as the Executive Council approved a partnership between the state’s Business Finance Authority and BAE Systems that could bring hundreds of good paying jobs to the city.

Under the proposal, which was unanimously approved after a public hearing, the Finance Authority will purchase the property at 3000 Goffs Falls Road for about $31 million and lease it to BAE over the next 10 years.

The deal calls for BAE to purchase the building from the BFA at the end of the 10-year lease.

The 200,000-square foot site is located off Brown Avenue, near the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

BAE, a major defense contractor with more than 5,400 employees at locations in Nashua and Merrimack, says it expects to initially hire as many as 800 new employees to staff the Manchester location.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Manchester as well as New Hampshire,” said BFA Executive Director James Key-Wallace.

“We are proud to have worked closely with BAE to make this deal happen. Our innovative and collaborative approach to structuring this expansion shows that New Hampshire is able to attract world-class companies who create high-quality jobs.”

The Department of Business and Economic Affairs and the city of Manchester were also involved in the negotiations leading up to the financing agreement, which is guaranteed by the state.

The BFA used the same type of financing recently in Rochester with aerospace contractor Safran Albany, creating hundreds of new manufacturing jobs.

“For a complex deal like this one, there were many moving parts that required a great deal of teamwork and collaboration between individuals and agencies to make it happen,” said Key-Wallace. “We were pleased to be part of this successful team that helped make this expansion a reality.”