With an eye on providing a centralized location for its workforce, Berks County-based UGI Utilities consolidated operations and finalized its move to a new corporate headquarters in northeastern Lancaster County. Officials will host a grand opening April 9.
The move shifted about 150 jobs from its former home in Muhlenberg Township.
The new 93,000-square-foot facility occupies a 32-acre tract at Route 222 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike in East Cocalico Township, near the border with Berks County.
The company began moving employees earlier this year and has about 260 in the new building, which could accommodate 350, said Joseph Swope, spokesperson for UGI.
“One of the things we had to do was find a location that was accessible to a good chunk of our service territory,” Swope said.
The company has grown in Pennsylvania through acquisition of other companies and the rise of the Marcellus Shale industry, he added.
“We tried to find a location where it’s still convenient for our headquarters employees,” Swope said.
The company conducted a survey of commute times compared to the new location and found the average difference was about six or seven minutes, he added.
UGI also wanted to consolidate employees into one location.
“The old facility was way too small,” Swope said. “Our employees were scattered over a number of buildings. We also had a number of information technology folks in other buildings.”
UGI rented its former headquarters on North 12 St. in Muhlenberg Township and owns a location on Morgantown Road in Reading that it will continue to operate with about 300 employees, he said. The lease expired on the North 12 St. site and the company vacated the building, he said.
Bernardon of Philadelphia is the architectural firm that designed the new headquarters. BL Companies of Mechanicsburg is the engineering firm that oversaw the site development. Warfel Construction, a Lancaster County firm, is the general contractor.
The architect designed the building for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification and the company is in the process of completing that certification, Swope said.
The building will have a combined heating and powering technology with a backup generator that would allow the facility to operate under any condition, Swope said.
UGI bought the parcel from Reading Hospital in 2017 for $3.9 million, according to Lancaster County property transactions.
The new headquarters is at 1 UGI Drive.
The company still maintains a presence in Berks County, according to Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Alliance.
“This has been a long time in the making,” Peers said. “We are comfortable with the decision here. From what I understand, they didn’t want to lease anymore and they needed room to grow.”
Meanwhile, UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of UGI Corp., is continuing to grow and moving its headquarters into the VF Outlet Center building under construction in Wyomissing, Peers said. UGI Energy will relocate from Spring Township.
Peers sees that move as a commitment to the county.
“They are very committed to the Greater Reading area,” Peers said.