Pfizer testing out brokers to sell Midtown East buildings

Company plans to sell its headquarters and move by end of next year

219 and 235 East 42nd Street
219 and 235 East 42nd Street

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is gearing up to move to a new headquarters, is on the hunt to find brokers who can help it sell its two buildings on East 42nd Street.

Five “contestants” were part of a tour-and-interview “beauty contest” last week, sources told the New York Post. CBRE [TRDataCustom], Cushman & Wakefield, Avison Young and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank toured the buildings, according to the paper. Apparently JLL didn’t show up, since brokers Richard Baxter, Yoron Cohen and Scott Latham recently jumped ship to Colliers International.

Pfizer announced in October it plans to sell its graying buildings at 219 East 42nd Street and 235 East 42nd Street by the end of next year. At the time, the company said it expects to lease a new headquarters somewhere in Manhattan.

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Both of the Pfizer properties have a different floor area ratio than surrounding buildings. Some community advocates have said they’re concerned that if the site is redeveloped, the new owners may get out of paying for some public improvements required under the Midtown East rezoning proposal.

Earlier this year, Pfizer tried to acquire Dublin-based company Allergan for $160 billion and move its headquarters to Ireland for tax purposes. That move was quashed, however, by the Obama administration’s changes to tax laws. [NYP]Miriam Hall