Pfizer sells off last properties in Brooklyn

Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, has completed its pullout of Williamsburg now that three more lots on the Southside have been put up for sale.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

By Aaron Short

Pfizer sold its last remaining stake in Williamsburg last week, officially ending the pharmaceutical giant’s decades-long run in North Brooklyn and putting two large lots in play — potentially for residential development.

Pfizer sold four acres of land near Wallabout Street to a newly formed investment group with a background in residential and mixed use development that’s operating under the name 306 Rutledge Street II, LLC, according to the medicine maker.

“We are very excited about this project and the benefits it will bring to the neighborhood Pfizer called home for so many years,” said Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder. “We are also pleased that the sale of these remaining parcels is a very positive step forward in our long-standing efforts to achieve a productive reuse for the property that will ultimately benefit the community.”

The buyers registered a limited liability corporation with the Department of State on April 12, but have not come forward publicly with their plans.

Their attorney, Steven Barshov, said his clients have not yet told him the specifics of their proposals for the two sites, but said they would likely seek to rezone the industrial properties for residential use.

The sale comes after a coalition of housing organizations floated a $10 million bid for the land in hopes of converting the plots into hundreds of below-market-rate apartments.

The housing groups issued no statements about the Pfizer sale, and calls to losing bidders including St. Nicks Alliance, Los Sures, and Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration were not returned.

The properties went on the market last December, 10 months after Pfizer sold its former Flushing Avenue pharmaceutical plant to Acumen Capital Partners, and four years after the drug company closed its factory and laid off 600 workers.

The sale fully severs the Manhattan-based drug corporation’s ties with Williamsburg, where the brand got its start in 1849 as a family business launched by two cousins.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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