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."