Former Pfizer Building A New Hub For Food Companies
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer closed its plant in Brooklyn in 2008. But instead of sitting abandoned, the building Pfizer left behind is starting to see new life take hold, marking the beginning of a new era for the historical facility. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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The history of this industrial building is inscribed on its walls.
Pfizer began its pharmaceutical company in Williamsburg back in the mid-1800s. While the work force recently moved to New Jersey and many halls are bare, new activities are now emerging.
One of the new activities is operated by Daniel Schroder in what he called his "Kombucha lab." In it, Schroder ferments tea and packages the Kombucha Brooklyn brand into home brew tea kits.
"This will be at somebody's home within the next two days, allowing them to brew Kombucha for the rest of their lives," he said. "They will never have to pay for tea again."
Across the hallway, there's chocolate. It's where Madecasse Chocolate stores and distributes all of its chocolate bar varieties.
"We make chocolate in Madagascar, bring that here and get influence from the foodie culture, artisanal culture in Brooklyn to make a finished product which is this awesome chocolate bar," said Joe Salvatore of Madecasse Chocolate. "We do vanilla products as well."
The former Pfizer building now has about 15 tenants. It houses mostly food specialty companies, from McClure's Pickles and Chips to Brooklyn Soda Works to Steve's Ice Cream to One Lucky Duck snacks.
Jeff Rosenblum of Acumen Capital Partners, whose company now owns the former Pfizer plant, said the setup is ideal for food businesses.
"The infrastructure met the requirements for the FDA," he said. "It has a heavy power, heavy floor loads, large freight elevators, water purification systems, all different gases running through the veins. So from an infrastructure standpoint, it has a lot of amenities that get adapted to the food industry."
Acumen Capital Partners bought the nearly 700,000 square-foot building for $30 million about a year ago. The last Pfizer employee left in January. The company has an initial rendering of its plans for the space complete with ground floor retail.
Building owners also envision agricultural uses, including an indoor mushroom garden and a rooftop farm.
But right now, the focus is finding new uses for the machinery and office furniture Pfizer left behind while customizing the space for new tenants.