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From Site Selection magazine, June 2014

A New Lease on Life

State entities will occupy vacant Pfizer buildings.


n agreement was reached in early April to put two vacant buildings on Pfizer’s Groton, Conn., campus back into productive reuse as a bioscience innovation center for Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE) and as a new state Dept. of Administrative Services (DAS) data center.

“This agreement is great news for Groton and the surrounding region, and the culmination of months of negotiations between Pfizer, CURE and DAS that, in the end, will provide an economic boost in southeastern Connecticut,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Pfizer will donate Building 286 to CURE for the development of CURE Innovation Commons, a technology incubator that will serve as a hub for entrepreneurs, scientists and start-up and growing businesses alike. At its February 28th meeting, the State Bond Commission approved a $4.2-million grant for CURE Innovations, LLC, a subsidiary of CURE, to fund renovations and initial costs associated with CURE Innovation Commons. Pfizer will lease Building 230 to the State of Connecticut that will house the state’s new data center at a rental rate of $1 per year.

“Pfizer welcomes CURE to our Groton research site, the largest in our global R&D network,” said Rod MacKenzie, PhD, group senior vice president, head of Pfizer Pharmatherapeutics R&D and Groton Laboratories Site Director. “Having CURE in such close proximity and working closely with our 3,000 Pfizer colleagues here in Groton will not only support our objective of turning critical scientific discoveries into valuable therapies for patients in need but also demonstrates Pfizer’s commitment to supporting a robust innovation community here in Connecticut.”

The state’s new IT data center will support the critical work of some 50,000 state personnel whose work is highly dependent on the smooth and reliable operation of the state’s IT network, including public safety related functions, said DAS Commissioner Donald DeFronzo. “We require a disaster recovery facility where the IT systems and data are backed up and readily available in the event of a catastrophe, allowing Connecticut to reposition its disaster recovery capabilities and providing significant advantages to the state. The challenge of finding a new site for the Connecticut Data Center has been a long and difficult one, but today is a result of a plan that allows DAS to meet its state-wide IT objectives, in alignment with the goals of our sister state agency, the DECD, and in partnership with Pfizer.”

In addition, the state itself will become a major user of Pfizer’s excess space. The state has been looking for a data center for some time, and this facility will provide an ideal location above hurricane level surge and with all of the necessary safety measures, saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year in building and real estate costs.

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