FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2012
SCHUMER LAUNCHES PUSH TO KEEP PFIZER’S PEARL RIVER CAMPUS A MAJOR BIOTECH INDUSTRY HUB – URGES COMPANY’S TOP BRASS TO SELL TO A DEVELOPER WHO WILL ATTRACT NEW BIOTECH JOBS TO THE HUDSON VALLEY
Today, at the Pfizer campus in Pearl River, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged top officials at Pfizer to ensure that the Pearl River campus remains a major hub for biotechnology and hi-tech development in the Hudson Valley. At the request of economic development leaders throughout the Hudson Valley, Schumer met with Pfizer officials and announced his support for ensuring that the Pearl River campus continues to serve as a home for biotechnology companies and other high-tech, innovative companies. Pfizer is in the midst of finding a developer to whom they will sell the campus, and lease back a portion of it for a continued Pfizer presence. To ensure that the remainder of the campus continues to serve as home to hundreds of biotechnology jobs in the Hudson Valley, Schumer is urging Pfizer to select a developer who will market the remaining facility as a space for new biotechnology firms and other high-tech, high-growth industries, rather than tear it down or redevelop it for other uses. Schumer noted that the unique technological features of the campus and its location in the heart of the Hudson Valley’s growing biotechnology sector make it an invaluable economic asset to the community that must be preserved. During the meeting, Schumer told Pfizer he would assist them as they go through the transition in order to ensure that the space remains available for further biotech development.
“The Hudson Valley and its fast-growing biotechnology industry are synonymous with Pfizer’s Pearl River campus and it should stay that way for years to come,” said Schumer. “As Pfizer considers new developers to buy this highly specialized facility and its first-rate lab and manufacturing space, it is critical to Hudson Valley businesses, the region’s workforce and the local economy that up-and-coming biotechnology and innovative firms call this campus home. This gem of a facility should not go to waste, and that is why I am urging top officials at Pfizer to select a developer to purchase this space that will work with local development officials to ensure that this campus remains a major launching pad for biotech in the Hudson Valley. Preserving and growing Westchester’s role as a hub for biotechnology development is the best way to invest in our future and create jobs today in the Hudson Valley. I believe that biotechnology is the future of the Hudson Valley, and I want to help Pfizer keep that vision alive and well.”
Schumer was joined at the media availability following the meeting by Mike Oates, President & CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Brian Gates the Vice President of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Al Samuels the President of the Rockland Business Association, and Michael J. DiTullo the President and CEO of the Rockland County Economic Development Corporation. Last year, Pfizer announced plans to sell the Pearl River campus to a developer that would then lease back a portion of the site to Pfizer, to preserve its presence in the Hudson Valley. Since that time, Pfizer has solicited proposals for the sale and partial leaseback of the campus. Currently, there are several buyers under consideration. Schumer met with top officials at Pfizer, including those in the Real Estate and Business Management Department, to make the case to select a bidder that will utilize the high-tech facility for biotechnology research and development. The Pearl River Campus is highly specialized, with unique technological features that make it one of the best in the country for the biotechnology field. The campus includes approximately 2.8 million rentable square feet of laboratory, pharmaceutical manufacturing and office space contained in 20 primary buildings and a variety of support buildings on 535 acres of land.
Pfizer Pearl River is one of Pfizer's five primary research sites and specializes specifically in Vaccine and BioTherapeutics research. At the Pearl River site, Pfizer conducts first-rate vaccine research and development, including the production of the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar. Pfizer’s laboratories and technology are highly specialized and capable of handling invasive and non-invasive diseases, as well as research into transformational medicines for cancer and other complex diseases. For example, Pfizer’s Pearl River campus produces a family of dietary supplements for patients 60 years and older with acute myeloid leukemia. Given Pfizer’s specialized lab space, Schumer is urging top executives to ensure that Pearl River’s new owner will keep the facility as a space for new biotechnology firms, rather than tearing down this facility, and its valuable workspace for other use.
Schumer launched his push to keep the Pearl River site as a major hub for biotechnology development, as it is critical to preserve and support the Hudson Valley’s role as a biotechnology hub for New York. Nearly 20 percent of the biotechnology workforce in New York - 8,000 employees – is in Westchester County, the largest concentration within the state. Preserving the Pearl River campus as a center for biotechnology jobs in the Hudson Valley would be critical to the local economy, and any future developer’s biotech work would also be complemented by the presence of premiere medical and research institutions such as New York Medical College, and Westchester Medical Center. Additionally, the Hudson Valley has 86 BioTech companies in the region, employing nearly 11,000 residents of the aptly named Bio-Hud Valley. Westchester is also home to the largest biotech company in New York, Regeneron. Together, Westchester-based biotech businesses will have created among the most new jobs in the county in 2010, an estimated 1,000-plus, and Pfizer has played an important role in that success. All of these factors make Pfizer’s preservation of the Pearl River Campus as a biotechnology hub a win-win both for the Hudson Valley’s biotech companies, workers and the future developer in this workspace facility, and would mark an important step toward making the Hudson Valley a nationally known hub for biotechnology.