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November 9, 2009

Pfizer to close New London campus

The [New London, CT] Day
by Lee Howard

Pfizer, the private corporation for which the City of New London, Connecticut seized the little pink house belonging to Suzette Kelo, along with the homes of her neighbors, announced today that it is abandoning the site and consolidating operations in the nearby city of Groton.

So much for eminent domain for the purpose of "economic development."

Pfizer Inc. announced today the company will be closing its former R&D headquarters in New London, but the impact locally is expected to be minimal because New London workers will be consolidated into the pharmaceutical giant's Groton campus.

The announcement today that Pfizer will be closing six R&D sites worldwide means that 1,500 positions currently based in New London will be transferred to Groton, where about 3,500 people work.

"In Groton and New London, there will be a minimal headcount effect," said Martin Mackay, president of Pfizer's PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development division, in a conference call. "Our presence in Connecticut will be approximately the same ... it's about 5,000 now, and that number will continue, though the makeup will change around the edges."

The announced closing of the New London site eight years after it opened to great fanfare came as a blow to a city that had counted on Pfizer's multimillion-dollar facility to help revive its fortunes.

New London City officials were broadsided by the news Monday morning.

Councilor Rob Pero, who also had no advance warning, said Pfizer officials told him they would have a better idea of what was happening by mid-November.

"Why would they build a facility 10 years prior and then just move 1,500 people out,'' he said. "Why leave a complex of that nature and ship them across the bridge. I would want to know why.


NoLandGrab: And Councilor, we'd like to know why the City of New London thought it was a good idea to seize those private properties and hand them over for a company that obviously puts it own interests before those of New London.

It seems that what comes around, goes around, but the people of New London lose out both coming or going.

Posted by eric at November 9, 2009 5:59 PM