Pfizer Picks Dramatic Skyscraper for Its New HQ in the Big Apple

Published: Aug 25, 2017

Pfizer Picks Dramatic Skyscraper for Its New HQ in the Big Apple August 25, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Pfizer (PFE) had reportedly chosen a site for its new headquarters, the as-yet constructed Manhattan skyscraper The Spiral.

In late 2016, Pfizer announced it planned to sell its current world headquarters in midtown Manhattan and was looking to lease modern facilities somewhere else in the city. The company stated at the time, “The move is being driven by the significant investment that would be required to bring the buildings to modern standards. In terms of capital deployment, that is not where we want to focus.”

Pfizer was founded in Brooklyn in 1840. The company has been at its current headquarters at 235 and 219 East 42nd Street since 1961.

The New York Post reports that Pfizer has definitely chosen to lease approximately 800,000 square feet of The Spiral, although it was not clear if a lease had been signed yet.

The Spiral was designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and is being developed by real estate developer Tishman Speyer. The building itself is expected to cost $3.2 billion and be 65 stories tall. It will be at 509 West 34th Street, rise 1,005 feet and span 2.85 million square feet. China’s HNA Group is one of the backers of the tower.

The company considered other locations on the Far West Side, including related Company’s 50 Hudson Yards and a Brookfield site.

The Spiral received its name from stepped terraces on all four sides of the skyscraper that will have trees on them. It spirals around the façade of the building. The Spiral website describes the building as “Linking indoor to outdoor, integrating work with play and tying Manhattan’s West Side to the city and beyond.” Of its terraces, the site says they “provide each floor with a double-height amenity space that can either be connected to adjacent floors for a dynamic workspace flow, or can serve as a unique meeting space dedicated to one specific floor. Tenants enjoy spectacular morning light over Midtown, sunsets over the Hudson River, and panoramic views of Manhattan on every floor.”

In early 2017, Pfizer hired Cushman & Wakefield to handle the sale of its current headquarters, and didn’t commit to The Spiral until East Midtown Zoning was passed two weeks ago, according to The New York Post. That decisions means that whoever buys the 42nd Street site can tear it down and build a much larger building. It also increases the potential sales price.

The New York Post writes, “Pfizer’s move will mark the latest major corporate relocation out of East Midtown. Others that have moved to—or soon will move to—the Hudson Yards District include Coach Inc., Time Warner, BlackRock, Skadden Arps, the National Hockey League, Accenture, Steve Cohen’s Point 72 and the Schiller, Boies law firm.”

The building, which will take up a city block, is close to major transit hubs, including Penn Station and the newly expanded 7 subway line.

Since it hasn’t been confirmed that Pfizer has even signed the lease yet, there is no timetable for moving in. And since it doesn’t appear that construction has even begun yet, it’s likely to be several years down the road. In October 2016, Pfizer indicated it hoped to make the move no earlier than the first half of 2019.

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