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Alexandria Exec: Pfizer Likely to Sublease Mission Bay Building

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By Alex Philippidis

While it has backed out of earlier plans to anchor a building under construction at the Alexandria Science and Technology Center at Mission Bay in San Francisco, Pfizer is expected to retain a presence of sorts there, the chairman and CEO of Mission Bay developer Alexandria Real Estate Equities told BioRegion News this week.

"They'll probably sublease it," Joel Marcus, Alexandria's chairman and CEO, said during an interview on Wednesday. "They're on a 15-year lease, and they don't have a right to terminate for 10 years, and we'll deliver that space to them later in the year. So they'll probably look to sublease it."

Marcus was asked about plans for Pfizer's space following the pharma giant's disclosure last month that it would not proceed with the lease it signed about a year ago for 105,000 square feet at 455 Mission Bay Blvd. South, within the Mission Bay campus, and an option for an additional 50,000 square feet in the 210,000-square-foot building [BRN, Aug. 11, 2008].

Pfizer was to have relocated its Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center, and the center's 100 employees, from a South San Francisco, Calif., lab-office park to the third building set to rise at the campus. At the time, Pfizer issued a statement saying that a key factor in moving the BBC to Mission Bay was the presence on the same campus of several research partners, notably the University of California-San Francisco and FivePrime Therapeutics.

Speaking with BRN last month, Pfizer spokeswoman Joan Campion said the company's Mission Bay pullout reflected a study of the company's space needs in light of its planned $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth, as well as simple economics [BRN, July 10].

Another factor: Corey Goodman, the executive who ran the BBC and spearheaded the move to Mission Bay, left the company in April.

Campion last month told the San Francisco Chronicle her company was "in discussions now with the landlord to exit the lease." At deadline, she had not responded to a Thursday e-mail message seeking an update on those talks.

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