Drug maker opens $30M warehouse


Pfizer hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new warehouse in Portage. Courtesy Pfizer

A global drug maker with a manufacturing operation in the region has opened a 98,500-square-foot warehouse to free up production space on its campus.

New York-based Pfizer unveiled last week the new warehouse, Building 541, at its Pfizer Global Supply operation in Portage, at 7000 Portage Rd.

It will house work-in-progress and finished products, all of which will be moved into the building by the end of the first quarter.

“Our current facility is one-million square feet, and we needed to claim the space at the current warehouse for new production,” said Bob Betzig, Portage site leader, Pfizer.

“We built this space to move the products into the new space and have enough room for future growth.”

The warehouse cost $30 million, along with $11 million for parking lot construction and other site features.

Construction started on Sept. 29, 2016 and was completed in January.

Portage site

The campus is the company’s largest manufacturing site of the 63 locations in the Pfizer network and employs about 2,300 workers.

The plant, which operates 24/7, makes the active ingredients in steroids, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals.

It produces sterile injectable medicines, non-sterile medications, biologicals, alcohol-based medicines and surgical sponges.


The new warehouse will be staffed by 36 existing logistics and customer service personnel. No new hires are planned.

Employees will handle more than 1,300 shipments per year, totaling more than 4,500 pallets shipped domestically and internationally.

Building features

The 65-foot-tall building is one story, allowing space for eight levels of racks that can store up to 9,500 pallets.

It has six loading docks and a guard house to manage traffic, a temperature-controlled climate and cold storage.

Firms on the project

The Austin Company, based in Cleveland, was the project’s architect and contractor.

The Christman Company, based in Lansing, built the “super flat floor” that will support truck traffic.

Ongoing site investments

In 2016, the City of Portage granted Pfizer a $14.5-million tax abatement for two projects totaling $147 million — the $41-million warehouse and parking project and a $106-million Act-O-Vial work center with equipment for making Solu-Medrol.

Betzig said Pfizer has invested $1 billion in improvements at the Portage site in the past 10 years and plans to invest another $1 billion in the next five years.

“The one-billion-dollar investment in the next five years will include changes for capacity, contemporizing our operations — making it more modern — efficiency gains and general infrastructure on our site that needs to be maintained,” Betzig said.

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