Pfizer to Invest $500M in Life Sciences Facility

The expansion at the company’s 230-acre campus in Sanford, N.C., is part a $5 billion capital projects program.
Pfizer, Gene Therapy Facility. Image courtesy of Pfizer
Pfizer, Gene Therapy Facility. Image courtesy of Pfizer

New York-based Pfizer is planning a major expansion at its 230-acre campus in Sanford, N.C. The global biopharmaceutical giant just revealed that it will invest an additional $500 million in the development of a gene therapy manufacturing facility at the metropolitan Raleigh location.

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Pfizer’s new manufacturing development will span 100,000 square feet, increasing the size of the Sanford campus to an aggregate 728,000 square feet. The project will also add 300 new jobs to the company’s existing 650-person staff in Sanford. “The announcement of Pfizer’s expansion in Sanford was no accident. It has been in the works for many years with the efforts made by the City and [Lee] County and many great companies and citizens throughout the past,” Scott Hadley, senior director with the Raleigh-Durham office of commercial real estate services firm Lee & Associates, told Commercial Property Executive. Pfizer has a long history in the area and first publicized plans for the gene therapy facility in 2017, committing $100 million to the project, the initial phase of which just reached completion.

Industrial real estate experts expect Pfizer’s new half-billion-dollar investment at its Sanford locale—a commitment heard throughout the life sciences industry and beyond—to have a notable impact on the local market. “This announcement will be a wakeup call to industries looking at the Triangle and the region to strongly consider an excellent industrial location with easy access to the Triangle, tremendous community support and a county and city that work in tandem to deliver utilities, an excellent community college and a skilled workforce,” Hadley said.

National growth

The Sanford development is part of a goal Pfizer announced in early 2018 on the heels of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the investment of roughly $5 billion in capital projects across the U.S., including the bolstering of its manufacturing footprint, over the next several years.

Other projects include a 400,000-square-foot sterile injectable pharmaceutical production facility to be developed at a cost of approximately $465 million in Portage, Mich. Construction of the Kalamazoo-area project will reach completion in 2021. Pfizer’s new Sanford expansion is on track to deliver in 2022.