New London's Big Gamble and Big Loss

New London, Connecticut was dealt a major blow when pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced plans to pack up and leave the heavily city-subsidized building New London had lured the company with. Bill Fulton looks at the impact of the move.
January 4, 2010, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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The city's use of eminent domain to sweeten the deal for Pfizer's relocation has turned out to be a lost and expensive gamble.

"Unlike other locales that attract and later lose a plant, New London did not get a skilled new labor force or a chain of suppliers. Those were already present because Pfizer had been across the river in Groton for decades. Nor did New London ever get the 'urban village' that it was expecting to create around Fort Trumbull, which could have attracted other investment. Pfizer wanted the urban village, but it doesn't exist, partly because of the city's caution in the wake of the Kelo controversy.

Just about the only thing New London has left for its money and effort is the Pfizer building itself - which is still owned, at least for the moment, by Pfizer. 'Basically, our economy lost a thousand jobs, but we still have a building,' Councilman Robert Pero told one newspaper reporter. Then he added, 'I don't know who's going to be looking for a building like that in this economy.'"

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Published on Friday, January 1, 2010 in Governing
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