Sunoco to move out of Philly to Pa. suburbs [update]

     The Sunoco Logistics refinery in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. (Susan Phillips/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

    The Sunoco Logistics refinery in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. (Susan Phillips/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

    Sunoco Inc. will move out of Philadelphia and consolidate its corporate headquarters in the the Delaware County suburbs in two years, a company spokesman has confirmed.

    Spokesman Jeff Shields told StateImpact Pennsylvania the new building in a Newtown Square development called Ellis Preserve would be “a good central location for our employees.”

    There are currently 120 Sunoco employees at the Mellon Center at 1735 Market Street in Philadelphia — the company’s registered headquarters — and 340 employees at an office park in Lester, Tinicum Township, Delaware County. The Lester location currently serves the company’s retail marketing operations.

    Shields said the new 200,000 square foot Newtown Square property was purchased Monday.

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    The move comes as a blow to Philadelphia that has fought to retain companies in Center City, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal that broke the story Tuesday afternoon:

    In 2004, Sunoco received public subsidies from the city and state to stay in 221,000 square feet at Mellon Bank Center. It had jumped from 10 Penn Center, where it had been in 378,000 square feet beginning in 1992. At the time, it moved from Radnor, Pa.

    (Sunoco’s long-gone development arm at the time, Radnor Corp., left a legacy of real estate developments throughout the region. It built 10 Penn Center and back in the day, the Radnor Corporate Center where it had been based.)

    Not long after Sunoco got those public funds, it shrank. Beginning in 2009, it decided to explore subleasing its Mellon Bank Center space to new tenants as it redefined its business and no longer needed so much room.

    Pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners bought Sunoco Inc. for $5.35 billion in 2012. According to the company website, Sunoco Inc. “markets its brand of gasoline through approximately 4,900 retail outlets in 23 states stretching from Maine to Florida and west to Indiana.”

    Its pipeline subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics is also headquartered in Philadelphia at 1818 Market Street. When asked if the company planned to bring its logistics business to the new location, spokesman Jeff Shields said the Philadelphia property is still “under active lease.”

    Sunoco Logistics is embarking on a multi-million dollar project to transform its refinery in Marcus Hook, Delaware County to process natural gas liquids piped directly from the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania.

    This story has been corrected to reflect that the corporate headquarters for Sunoco Inc. is not in Philadelphia, but is located in Lester, Tinicum Township, Delaware County.

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