Two years after abandoning an attempt to redevelop its sprawling former manufacturing complex in Brooklyn, drug giant Pfizer announced Monday that it had reached a surprise agreement to sell a piece of that property to Acumen Capital Partners of Long Island City.
Surprise move indeed. Then talk for a long time was that this site (the massive industrial building on the south side of Flushing Avenue) would be used for a non-profit industrial development and jobs training project – along the GMDC or Navy Yard model. The good news, though, is that Acumen is a developer of light industrial properties, and their acquisition of the building has the potential to bring a lot of jobs to the neighborhood.
For a company with a 159-year history in the neighborhood, Pfizer has managed to leave town very quietly. In the process, they have demolished significant historic buildings, taken tens of millions in tax credits from the City, and killed a 1,000+ local jobs.
But what about the rest of their property north of Flushing? Will that become affordable housing? Or does Pfizer have another surprise up its sleeve before it packs up its tent and quietly leaves town?