PFIZER SCOURS MIDTOWN FOR HEADQUARTERS TOWER
By LOIS WEISS
July 26, 2002 -- Pfizer, Viagra's maker and the world's largest drug company, has a prescription for a new city headquarters of around 2 million square feet.
For several months, it has been prowling 42nd Street with Josh Kuriloff of Cushman & Wakefield for a place to expand and consolidate its offices, a deal that originally called for less than 1 million sq. ft.
While Pfizer has had conversations with Douglas Durst for One Bryant Park - Durst's 1.6 million sq. ft. office tower to be at the northwest corner of 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas - it could be that a competing parcel gets the drugmaker's nod.
The New Jersey Business Journal reported Pfizer may be close to a deal with FSM Associates - Fisher Bros., SheldonSolow and Morgan Stanley - for a new 2 million sq. ft. skyscraper on land they are buying from Con Edison.
"It's speculation and we will not comment on any rumor," said FSM spokesperson Howard Rubenstein.
Neither Kuriloff nor Durst could be reached before press time while a Pfizer spokesperson declined to comment.
If a deal is eventually sealed, the tower could rise on the southeast corner of 41st Street and First Avenue where the office building at 708 First Avenue has been demolished on the north end of Con Ed's Waterside Plant.
As one option, the draft environmental review plan suggests the construction at 708 First of an 880-foot tall tower of approximately 1.8 million sq. ft.
The parcel could also be developed with an even larger building, and both separately and faster than the actual steam plant, which is not likely to be torn down for several years.
The real estate database CoStar Group shows Pfizer already owns its 670,962 sq. ft. headquarters at 235 East 42nd Street, and the adjacent 300,000 sq. ft. 219 East 42nd Street. It also rents 155,276 sq. ft. next door to the west at 205 East 42nd Street.
Diagonally across Third Avenue it leases 664,638 sq. ft. at the full block Hiro Building at 150 East 42nd Street.
It recently leased yet another 24,664 sq.ft. at 300 East 42nd Street.
"If they are landlocked and looking to expand I see it as a win-win for the pharmaceutical company and the community," said Mark Adams Taylor, chairman of Community Board 6, who added that Pfizer is known as a good neighbor.