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PARSIPPANY, NJ-Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will build a $100-million, three-story, 164,000-sf technical center on Webro Road here. The new facility will include labs and manufacturing space to test and make new products, according to company officials.

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

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

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

“We have major operations in other states that are interested in attracting projects like these,” Haskins says. “The incentives offered by New Jersey played a very important role in our decision.”

“This is a signature retention effort,” says state treasurer John E. McCormac, who has been given kudos for getting the BRRA program through the state legislature this past June. “This sends a message to the pharmaceutical industry, and also to the telecommunications and financial services and other industries that we’re serious about retaining jobs.”

Pfizer’s New Jersey operations include those of the former Pharmacia, which the company acquired last year. That takeover occurred shortly after Pharmacia had closed on the two-million-sf former AT&T headquarters campus in Basking Ridge. Pfizer subsequently opted not to utilize the site, which remains vacant and on the market. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Verizon is looking at the sprawling campus as a possible site to combine its corporate headquarters, currently in New York, with the operations of the New Jersey-based Verizon Wireless.

“At a time when other states are feverishly recruiting pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer’s investment speaks volumes,” says Acting Gov. Richard Codey.

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