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ANN ARBOR, MI-Pfizer Inc. has had more than 60 tours of its 2.2-million-sf site that it plans to vacate by 2009, including a visit from Cleveland-based developer Forest City Enterprises Inc. The drug maker, based in New York City, announced last spring that it would be closing down the Ann Arbor property, which has 28 buildings spread over 175 acres, and sending some employees elsewhere. The company is cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide, including most of the jobs here.

A Forest City spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that Michael Rosen, SVP for new business development of the company’s Science and Technology Group, did take a look at the property. However, she refused to provide more details, and Rosen could not be reached for comment. “Touring sites is something we do all the time across the country,” she says. “We really don’t have anything to announce.” The company has bought Pfizer properties before, including a one-million-sf site in Skokie, IL, creating a business park where Rosen himself is now based.

A spokesman for Pfizer tells GlobeSt.com that he can’t comment on any tours of the site, but confirmed there have been dozens of companies, some who have toured more than once. The company has been working with Staubach brokers since June. “We’ve had a good response to our marketing effort,” the spokesman says. “We’re still early in the process.”

Another rumor is that the University of Michigan, which owns adjacent properties, may buy the property or go in on the land in a joint venture. University officials reportedly admitted an interest, but would not comment further.

The Pfizer spokesman says the company wants to be a good neighbor. “We’ve certainly have had conversations with them to gauge their interest.”

The company has transferred most of the employees from the 28 buildings. “We’ve transferred most of the research and development work to other locations,” the spokesman says. “We’re at about a 330-person headcount, down from 2,100, people when we were operational.” The space breakdown is 720,000 sf of office, 750,000 sf of laboratory and other research space, and a 234,000 sf manufacturing facility. The property can be subdivided or sold as whole, he says.

Pfizer is also closing plants in Kalamazoo, and two manufacturing sites in Brooklyn, NY and Omaha, NE. “We did a global assessment for all our operations worldwide in 2006, and realized we needed to have a more streamlined global operation,” the spokesman says. “We’ll still have a very large presence in Kalamazoo, we’re keeping our largest manufacturing site.” The firm will close Ann Arbor completely by the end of the year.

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