Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Unisys, Rejected On Sign, Backs Out Of Move To City

Unisys, the technology company that had planned to relocate its headquarters from Blue Bell in Montgomery County to Two Liberty Place in Center City, announced today that it was backing out of the move. The company last year lost a dispute it had with other residents of the building, who successfully opposed plans to hang giant corporate logos from the building's 37th and 38th floors. The city's Zoning Board of Adjustment ruled against Unisys, saying the company did not qualify for a variance to put the two 16-foot-tall signs on the building's east and west facades.

Unisys, Rejected On Sign, Backs Out Of Move To City

An artist´s rendering of what UNISYS´ logo would have looked like if it had moved its headquarters to the west side of Liberty Place Two in Philadelphia. The company announced its staying put in Blue Bell because its signage was rejected by the city.
An artist's rendering of what UNISYS' logo would have looked like if it had moved its headquarters to the west side of Liberty Place Two in Philadelphia. The company announced its staying put in Blue Bell because its signage was rejected by the city.

Unisys, the technology company that had planned to relocate its headquarters from Blue Bell in Montgomery County to Two Liberty Place in Center City, announced today that it was backing out of the move.  The company last year lost a dispute it had with other residents of the building, who successfully opposed plans to hang giant corporate logos from the building's 37th and 38th floors.  The city's Zoning Board of Adjustment ruled against Unisys in August, saying the company did not qualify for a variance to put the two 16-foot-tall signs on the building's east and west facades.

Lawrence Wieser, a Unisys vice president, praised Mayor Nutter in a statement today, calling the decision "purely economic" for the company.  The statement also quotes Nutter, saying he was disappointed but looks forward to working on developing a positive relationship with the company.

Nutter had supported the company's plan on the signs. He contacted Unisys after the ZBA decision, seeking to continue the relocation.  Unisys had planned on bringing about 225 employees to Center City, where it had signed a 10-year-lease.  The company's statement does not address what happened to that lease.

UPDATE:  Nutter just told PhillyClout that he spoke with the CEO of Unisys last night and that the "door is open" to a future relocation.  The mayor emphasized that the ZBA ruling had no impact on the company's decision. "This has nothing to do with the Zoning Board and a sign," Nutter said. "This is about economics."

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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