SAN FRANCISCO — The world’s largest drug maker has abandoned plans to move into a new research center in San Francisco’s burgeoning Mission Bay neighborhood. What was hailed last summer by Mayor Gavin Newsom as a “significant win” in the development of Mission Bay is now a loss for the area, which has attracted numerous life science companies in recent years as a result of payroll tax breaks offered by The City.
Pfizer had planned to take up a bulk of a new building on the corner of Third Street and Mission Bay Boulevard. The company negotiated a 15-year lease with the builders, Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., and said they planned to move 100 employees there from their South San Francisco office in early 2010. Newsom announced the deal in August 2008, alongside Corey Goodman, the president of Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center, who said the move would position the center for success. Signs that the deal could be in jeopardy surfaced in November, when Alexandria announced they would be putting two Mission Bay properties on hold, but would not elaborate on the specific sites. Goodman then unexpectedly resigned in April — just months after Pfizer acquired drug maker Wyeth in a $68 billion deal. A spokeswoman for Pfizer, Joan Campion, said the company did notmake its decision based on recent leadership changes, but by analyzing its real estate holdings after acquiring Wyeth. “Economics was a factor,” Campion said. The fate of the building is still unknown. A public relations firm for Alexandria Real Estate Equities did not return calls for comment.