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Pfizer Pfails to Pfix Pformer Pfactory • Brooklyn Paper

Pfizer Pfails to Pfix Pformer Pfactory

The drug giant Pfizer, whose Williamsburg roots date back to 1849, will close its Flushing Avenue plant and lay off 600 workers in a cost-cutting move.
The Brooklyn Paper / Dennis W. Ho

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer just swallowed one bitter pill.

The faltering economy has deflated the Viagra maker’s plans to erect a large-scale residential development at its closed plant on Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg.

Since the 2007 closure of its 660,000-square-foot complex — on the site where cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart founded the Fortune 500 company in 1849 — the drug giant has sought a developer to raze the plant and construct housing.

But the hunt for a builder turned cold as the fiscal crisis mounted.

“We have been unable to identify a development proposal that can, at this point, concurrently address the needs and interests of the community, our company and our shareholders,” said Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder.

“The near complete collapse of the credit market — which has, in terms of timing, practically mirrored our [request for proposal] process — has created an unprecedented economic environment and has prevented us from coming to terms on a development proposal that meets the goals of all of our disparate stakeholders,” he added.

The properties, which stretch between Marcy and Tompkins avenues, will remain on the market, though the pharmaceutical company is not currently engaged in “active discussions with potential purchasers.”

Local politicians, who have long been skeptical of Pfizer’s proposed mixed-income development, claim they weren’t surprised to learn that the plan is on hold.

“This is not unexpected in this economy — but this doesn’t mean it’s forever. It means they have to wait it out,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Greenpoint).

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