Representatives from the University of Connecticut last week toured the grounds of Pfizer and Building 118 - the sprawling complex on Eastern Point Road that the .
Town Manager Mark Oefinger said a group of about 25 people from the UConn campuses in Storrs and Avery Point toured Building 118 last week, including university representatives of economic development, planning and facilities, plus department heads and professors.
The group also looked at two other Pfizer facilities: Building 114, sometimes called “the ice cube building”, a 26,000-square-foot, two-story office building outside the Pfizer gates; and Building 286, a single-story building inside the security perimeter of Pfizer, with an adjacent parking lot.
In addition, town and city officials met Aug. 23 with representatives of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Connecticut College, Mitchell College, Three Rivers Community College, Naval Submarine Base New London, and UConn-Avery Point to discuss the buildings available on the Pfizer campus.
Oefinger said a core group, including himself, City Mayor Marian Galbraith and Town Mayor Heather Bond Somers have been discussing the buildings. They spoke to an architect, then set up the Aug. 23 meeting.
The town is working with Architect Jim Martin, who was part of a collaborative used by Pfizer in the past and who is familiar with the buildings.
“We wanted to get people together to talk about what we know about the property, and see if they would start to engage in a discussion among themselves,” Oefinger said.
He said there was no “eureka moment” at the meeting and people are cautious because their budgets are tight, but tours could be arranged in the future.
Groton City Mayor Marian Galbraith said it’s too soon to know the level of UConn’s interest.
“Certainly there’s enormous potential there. We have always felt that," she said. ". . .Certainly there are things we would like to see in terms of UConn, so hopefully, it will work out."
The group of representatives from the colleges and sub base may meet again in the next three or four weeks.
spokesman Steven L. Danehy said earlier this month that if the company's efforts to sell or lease the 750,000-square-foot Building 118 complex are unsuccessful by the end of the year, "demolition is a possibility. A final decision on the future of the 118 Complex will be made by the end of 2012," he said at that time.
Said Oefinger: “There’s been no deals inked or signed but there has been some interest. But it’s early and unfortunately the clock is ticking to some degree . . . so we’re just trying to get the space exposed to as many people as possible.”