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ANN ARBOR, MI-Pfizer Inc., one of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers, has decided to emerge from a construction holding pattern and says it will invest $100 million in new metro area construction in 2004.

The city’s largest private employer had projected as many as a dozen new buildings for its Plymouth Road complex in 2003, but the New York-based company delayed major construction this past year because of its $57-billion acquisition of Pharmacia Corp., which closed in April 2004. Pfizer has not yet submitted exact building plans to the city.

The largest Pfizer project currently under review is a new science facility of 100,000 sf or more, planned for the southern area of the Plymouth Road campus, says Herb Rickloff, executive director of operations for Pfizer’s Michigan labs. Local Pfizer officials submitted a request for constructing the building to the company’s upper management, which has yet to OK the proposal.

Other possible Pfizer projects in the city for 2004 may include:

* Expanding its on-site power plant at a cost of $44 million to accommodate new growth.

* Upgrading one of the company’s largest and oldest administration facilities (called Building 20), to cost $30 million.

* $17.5 million in expansions and technology changes for a drug-prototyping lab.

* Various infrastructure improvements totaling $11 million.

* Adding new magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, equipment at a cost of $8 million.

The Ann Arbor City Council passed tax abatements two years ago to encourage Pfizer to remain and grow, locally. The abatements require Pfizer to reach a $100-million threshold for new construction by November 2005 in order to reap a 50% tax discount on that and any additional construction up to $800 million.

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