U. of Michigan Proud Of Pfizer Property Purchase

Ann McClure's picture

There were some naysayers, but James Woolliscroft wasn't one of them.

In fact, the dean of the University of Michigan medical school was quite the opposite, leading a contingent of college officials that thought purchasing the 2.2-million-square-foot Pfizer complex was a smart, albeit aggressive, move.

The 28-building, 174-acre complex was a gamble to be sure: Normally you have enough staff to fill a building, and a stated need for a facility, before the facility comes along. And while the medical school was pinched for space, there were hardly — and still aren't — enough existing bodies or uses to fill the complex.

But at $108 million, the facility was a bargain. Woolliscroft and others predicted that having so much blank space at the school's ready would spur innovation and quicken the pace of research and development growth at the school.

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