Pfizer Inc., Madison's largest employer, plans to sell its office space at 5 Giralda Farms and will relocate all of the 1,000 employees who work there by the end of the year, the company said Tuesday.
Four hundred employees at the site who work for Pfizer's animal health subsidiary, Zoetis, will be moving to an office building off Park Avenue in Florham Park by June, Zoetis said Tuesday.
And around 300 employees who work for Pfizer's consumer healthcare business are expected to move to newly leased space close to the Madison campus by October, Pfizer spokeswoman Joan Campion said. She said the move has not been finalized.
Employees who worked in Pfizer's nutrition division, which was sold to Nestle last year, will move to Nestle HealthCare Nutrition's headquarters on Vreeland Road in Florham Park. Remaining Pfizer employees will move to the Pfizer campus in Peapack, Campion said.
Zoetis is moving into a four-story office at 100 Campus Drive in Florham Park, next to the Park Avenue Club. The building served as BASF's headquarters until the chemical company moved into its newly-built headquarters near the New York Jets practice facility. Zoetis, formerly Pfizer Animal Health, recently became a stand-alone company and raised more than $2 billion in an initial public offering last month. Pfizer still owns about 80 percent of the company.
Madison's tax base and utilities revenue could be negatively affected if 5 Giralda Farms winds up unused for an extended period of time. The 50-acre property has an assessed value of $75 million and the company paid $1,389,500 in property taxes to Madison in 2012. The property generates additional revenue because Pfizer uses Madison's borough-owned electric and water utilities.
If Pfizer or another property owner files a tax appeal and successfully argues the property has less value because the site is vacant, its property tax bill could be reduced and the rest of Madison's tax base would shoulder the difference.
Madison is gaining employees in other ways: Prudential Real Estate Investors moved its corporate headquarters from Parsippany to 7 Giralda Farms in June. Realogy to its future headquarters under construction on Park Avenue in Madison. And Madison is awaiting bids from developers who hope to redevelop the former Green Village Road School property.
"We are certainly sad to see some of our corporate neighbors move, though happy to know that they will be just down the street from Madison," Mayor Bob Conley said in a statement. "We will do whatever we can to help Pfizer sell Giralda 5 and to attract another world class organization to our borough."
Pfizer acquired Wyeth in 2009 and decided at the time to house certain divisions at Wyeth's Giralda Farms headquarters. Wyeth, when it was still known as American Home Products, announced in 1991 it would be leaving Manhattan and building its new headquarters at Giralda Farms, which used to be the estate of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge and currently houses other major corporations. American Home Products changed its name to Wyeth in 2002.