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Pfizer to start expansion

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Pfizer to start expansion

However, growth in space appears unlikely to bring growth in jobs

Sunday, October 10, 2004

BY SCOTT ANDERSON

News Business Reporter

A trio of projects worth an estimated $140 million will bring a buzz of construction to Pfizer Inc.'s Ann Arbor campus in the next 18 months.

However, the growth in office and lab space is not likely to mean job growth. Instead, Pfizer plans to relocate dozens of employees presently working in labs and offices outside its Plymouth Road complex. About 110 researchers and other employees now leasing space at the Domino's Farms offices and Traverwood II office parks will likely migrate to the additions when complete.

All of the planned construction or renovation efforts will take place within Pfizer's existing footprint, leaving untouched the adjacent land the drugmaker purchased from the University of Michigan and the nonprofit research Altarum Institute for a combined $46 million in 2001.

The main projects include:

A $70 million, 118,000-square-foot addition to Building 35. The addition will be known as Building 36, eliminating 150 parking spaces from the area in the process. The three-story add-on will house offices and laboratories where scientists will evaluate new drug safety. Construction is not to begin until spring of 2005, and the company estimates the addition could be complete in the first quarter or mid-year 2007.

Renovations on the western side of a main administration/laboratory building, known as Building 20. The building was one of the first constructed by drug research company Parke-Davis in the 1950s. Pfizer purchased Parke-Davis' parent company Warner-Lambert in 2000. In the early 1990s, Parke-Davis renovated the eastern section of that building. The projected $45 million effort could begin in the third quarter of 2005, with staffers projected to move in by early 2006.

Creating a $25 million "kilo lab" at the company's Technical Development Center, on 1600 Huron Parkway. The lab will allow researchers to produce larger quantities of certain drug compounds for clinical testing. Already under way, the project is scheduled for completion late next year.

The company has also constructed a $4 million fire pump house building and has renovated a child care center in the three years since receiving tax abatements from the Ann Arbor City Council.

When completed, the projects will bring Pfizer's total building area to 1.89 million square feet of owned office and lab space at the 2800 Plymouth Road research campus, said Michael Hinsky, Pfizer's director of strategic facilities planning in Michigan. Although the projects will bring some employees back, Pfizer said it still will retain most of its leased office or lab space in Ann Arbor office parks.

Scott Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or at (734) 994-6843.

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