The unveiling comes on the heels of several earlier projectsannounced by Pfizer, which is based in New York but has extensiveoperations in the Garden State. The earlier announcements, whichcarry a combined price tag of $400 million, include construction ofa 250,000-sf R&D complex in nearby Morris Plains; constructionof a 450,000-sf office building in the same community; and therenovation and expansion of existing office and lab space aroundthe state.

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The two projects in Morris Plains received zoning approval backin April, and ground was broken for the new facilities in October.All of the various projects are expected to be completed by themiddle of 2007, according to Pfizer's Bryant Haskins. The newR&D center is being built on the site of a formerWarner-Lambert campus.

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And Pfizer's various projects are getting a big boost in theform of state aid. State officials last week approved $25 millionworth of sales tax exemptions, the first to be granted under thestate's new Business Retention and Relocation Assistance program.Altogether, Pfizer's various projects will keep close to 2,100 jobsin the state.

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"We have major operations in other states that are interested inattracting projects like these," Haskins says. "The incentivesoffered by New Jersey played a very important role in ourdecision."

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"This is a signature retention effort," says state treasurerJohn E. McCormac, who has been given kudos for getting the BRRAprogram through the state legislature this past June. "This sends amessage to the pharmaceutical industry, and also to thetelecommunications and financial services and other industries thatwe're serious about retaining jobs."

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Pfizer's New Jersey operations include those of the formerPharmacia, which the company acquired last year. That takeoveroccurred shortly after Pharmacia had closed on the two-million-sfformer AT&T headquarters campus in Basking Ridge. Pfizersubsequently opted not to utilize the site, which remains vacantand on the market. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Verizon is lookingat the sprawling campus as a possible site to combine its corporateheadquarters, currently in New York, with the operations of the NewJersey-based Verizon Wireless.

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"At a time when other states are feverishly recruitingpharmaceutical companies, Pfizer's investment speaks volumes," saysActing Gov. Richard Codey.

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