Pfizer’s 700,000-SF Space Floats General Dynamics’ Boat

General Dynamics' fast-growing Electric Boat divison snapped up a 700,000-square-foot compound in New London, Conn., that Pfizer Inc. is departing.

By: Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor 

Pfizer Inc. is on the way out of its 700,000-square-foot office compound in New London, Conn., and General Dynamics Electric Boat is on its way in, now that the submarine developer has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire the property. Electric Boat is in a hurry; the company also inked an early occupancy lease that will allow the relocation of some of its employees into office space next month. 

The Southeastern Connecticut office market will benefit from the nearly perfectly timed relocations. Between the two major tenants, nearly 1 million square feet in the area will stay occupied rather than going on the market.

 Financial terms of the agreement have not been revealed; however, Pfizer developed the facility at a cost of approximately $300 million in 2001. Carrying the address of 50 Pequot Avenue, the pharmaceutical company’s three-building office campus occupies 33 acres in downtown New London. In addition to premier office space, the property features a parking facility to accommodate more than 1,800 vehicles. 

Cushman & Wakefield Inc., which also marketed the property for lease, secured the buyer. Under the early occupancy lease agreement, Electric Boat will relocate its engineers working on the Navy’s next-generation submarine to two floors in one of the buildings. The remaining staff is expected to make the move in phases through 2011.

 Timing is everything. Electric Boat, unlike most companies in this recession-weary climate, is experiencing a major growth spurt, and announced its plans earlier this year to settle into new, larger, fancier digs within 18 months. That dovetailed with Pfizer’s scheduled 2011 exit from the property. Pfizer announced last November that it would shutter the doors of its New London complex and relocate the employees to its location in Groton. The New London space became surplus following Pfizer’s multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Wyeth in 2009.