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Memo: Crown seeks to leave N.E. Philly HQ by 2018

According to a memo: "We have not made any decision on a specific future location"

Crown Holdings Inc., the $9 billion (yearly sales), Northeast Philadelphia-based packaging company with plants in 40 countries, plans to move out of its headquarters at One Crown Way by 2018, according to a short employee note obtained by the Inquirer.

Crown spokesman Thomas Fischer was unavailable for comment on the note or Crown's plans this afternoon and did not immediately respond to email. No other person at the company was authorized to talk about the company's plans, according to Fischer's assistant.

According to the note, sent to employees at Crown's Philadelphia office and attributed to two of the company's top Human Resources officials:

"Crown has completed the sale of the Corporate Headquarters building to One Crown Properties, LLC.

"As part of the sale, we will rent space here at One Crown Way for a period of twelve to eighteen months. We expect the new owner to lease space within the building to another tenant or tenants. The tenants, including Crown, will have access to common areas such as the cafeteria and fitness center. 

"With the addition of a tenant, it is likely that some of our employees will be required to move internally within the building. We will advise affected employees as soon as possible.

"At this time, we have not made any decision on a specific future location for our headquarters operation and are exploring a number of options. We will keep you informed as detailed plans are finalized."

Companies often locate headquarters at the convenience of their top executives. Timothy Donahue, who took over as chief executive of Crown in January, has resided in the New Hope area, which is convenient to the Princeton corporate office corridor, as well as other offices closer than Northeast Philadelphia. (Name corrected)

Even when they'd rather not move too far, companies often let it be known they are considering locating to another city when they or their real estate agents seek financial concessions from landlords and local governments.

Philadelphia and other cities that impose wage taxes on workers at sites within city limits are sometimes willing to make property tax concessions to keep employers from leaving.