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Expanding Sanofi leases former Pfizer distribution center

NNBW staff

The former Pfizer pharmaceutical distribution facility at 1025 Sandhill Road in South Meadows has a new tenant and owner.

Sanofi, a Paris-based pharmaceuticals company that competes with drug giants Pfizer and Merck, will expand from its 35,000-square-foot facility on Vista Boulevard to take 160,000 square feet at the site. Sanofi’s need for more space drove both the sale and lease agreement with new owner Panattoni Development Company.

Panattoni purchased the building for $10.9 million from wholesale distributor BrightPoint, which bought the building from Pfizer for $11.5 million in early 2011 and held it for about 15 months but never occupied the building.

Sanofi expects to occupy its new location in the first quarter of 2013.

Dave Simonsen, senior vice president with the NAI Alliance industrial properties group, says the building wasn’t listed for sale, but knowing it was vacant the NAI team called on BrightPoint to see what offers the company would entertain. BrightPoint did not want to do a direct lease of space to Sanofi, Simonsen says, and sought to exit the facility completely.

“We went to the investor market and identified some potential investors, and Panattonni came forth with best offer,” Simonsen says.

The building is one of the most modern distribution facilities in the Truckee Meadows. With its 40-foot clear heights, it’s the tallest class-A distribution facility in the region. The whole building is air conditioned, and Pfizer invested roughly $7 million in top-quality racking and conveyer systems.

“It is a plug-and-play turnkey facility for the right user,” Simonsen says. “If Sanofi wasn’t looking for space that building probably still would be sitting vacant. Sanofi drove the whole thing.”

NAI Alliance is still marketing the remaining 103,924 square feet to pharmaceutical or food users. However, Simonsen notes, the way the building is priced it could be a boon to a standard warehousing/distribution company as well.