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The site of the former Pfizer World Research Headquarters in New London, CT is being purchased by General Dynamics’ Electric Boat (EB) unit. The nuclear submarine builder will invest $99 million in a new research, development, engineering and design facility that will create 700 jobs.
“Pfizer’s announcement in 2009 that it was vacating its global research headquarters in New London and consolidating operations in Groton created enormous uncertainty throughout an entire community,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. “The news caused understandable fears about individual career prospects and cast doubt on the economic promise of the Fort Trumbull redevelopment project.
“Today, however, we open a new and important chapter in that same community – we look on a brighter prospect for the same community and see a far rosier future for the local economy,” Rell said. “EB’s decision to purchase the former Pfizer facility for its own R&D center will create 700 engineering jobs, establishing a center of excellence in the field of engineering that will help Connecticut develop and sustain a work force in this critical field. It also establishes a robust pipeline for future innovation.”
Electric Boat, a subsidiary of Groton-based General Dynamics, is the world’s premier designer and builder of nuclear submarines. The company plans to purchase land and buildings at 50 Pequot Avenue that are currently owned by Pfizer and upgrade two EB-owned buildings in Groton.
The project will create 700 positions, adding to EB’s 2,300 engineers and more than 8,000 total employees already in Connecticut.
“We have been coordinating closely with Gov. Rell and the State of Connecticut, the City of New London, the U.S. Navy and Pfizer to determine if this site meets our needs and the initial results are very encouraging,” said John P. Casey, president of Electric Boat. “We appreciate the state’s support, which was instrumental in making this transaction.”
The Department of Economic and Community Development will assist EB with a $15 million grant that will be phased over three years at $5 million per year. Funding may be used for construction, to buy equipment and for other eligible project-related activities. Because the New London facility is located in an enterprise zone, EB also may be eligible a five-year, 80 percent abatement on real and personal property taxes and a 25 percent corporate tax credit for 10 years.
The former Pfizer site previously was enmeshed in a controversy that reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the state’s right to use eminent domain to seize nearby residential property to clear the way for a commercial development that eventually was canceled.