As part of cutbacks planned for the whole company, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is closing its Brooklyn plant over the next two years. Six hundred jobs will be eliminated, starting with 90 between now and March 31. The plant's site leader Bill Barberich told the NY Times, "Colleagues were shocked and disappointed by the news, but acted very maturely. It's a very bad day for a lot of people." Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce interim president Mark Kessler said, "This is a major loss for Brooklyn and its residents," and the Mayor's office said they would help laid-off Pfizer employees find new jobs. Pfizer is eliminating a total of 10,000 jobs, as well as closing three research sites in Michigan and another manufacturing plant in Omaha, as it faces tougher competition.

The 600,000 square foot Brooklyn plant on Flushing Avenue is the site where Pfizer was founded in 1849; the current plant was built in the 1940s. It's unclear what Pfizer will do with the land, but the Times reports that the company said they are working with the community to "find an appropriate use for the various properties," which include 15 acres and a charter school.

Photograph of the Pfizer plant on Flushing Avenue by hi-lo on Flickr