Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 11, 2010

First NCRC occupants identified; about 300 employees to move this spring

About 300 U-M employees will be the first to move to the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC), the former Pfizer property purchased by the university in June.

Several existing units have been notified they will move in the first phase of occupancy at the 30-building property that spans Huron Parkway south of Plymouth Road. The units support the university’s research community in multiple functions.

“We are delighted faculty and staff are moving in to what we know will become a locus for innovation and research,” says President Mary Sue Coleman. “They are the first of thousands who will help refine research at Michigan in the years to come.”

These employees will move into the one-story office buildings on the southeast corner of Huron and Plymouth. Moves will begin this spring.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as we are working toward a broad goal of creating a distinct new university community at NCRC,” says Dr. Ora Pescovitz, executive vice president for medical affairs and one of the leading planners for the NCRC site.

“As part of our extensive planning process, we expect these first employees will over time be joined by thousands of current and new faculty, staff and students who together will pursue ground-breaking research initiatives involving disciplines across campus and industry partnerships.”

Units expected to move include employees from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, the Medical School’s Institutional Review Board, the Office of Medical Development and Alumni Relations, the development and clinical trials offices for the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Clinical Research Billing.

Most of these employees currently work in off-campus buildings leased by the university. U-M will keep some of those leases, as other U-M units move into the vacated space. Other leases will be allowed to expire.

All of the groups chosen for the initial move are involved in supporting U-M research, whether by providing services to researchers or raising money to fund research. As researchers begin to move to NCRC in coming months and years, they will benefit from having these research support functions close by.

Also, these office-related functions can be moved easily into the former Pfizer buildings. On Dec. 17 the Board of Regents approved a $1.8 million project for improvements including painting and new carpet in these structures. Other NCRC buildings, especially laboratories, will require more preparation and planning before they can be used.

“Above all, we determined that these moves made sense for these groups and for the future of NCRC. This will provide them with an expanded working environment and the opportunity to be closely involved with the wonderful things we anticipate doing at NCRC,” says Dr. James Woolliscroft, dean of the Medical School and one of the lead planners on the project.

Employees in the first units that will move to NCRC have been notified and toured the property and their new offices. They are working with NCRC planners on details of the move.

A 300-space parking lot at the southern end of the NCRC property is expected to open to U-M commuters in late January. The parking, which can be accessed off the west side of Huron Parkway, will be coded for orange permits.

The property remains closed to the public, but those interested can find out more about the planning process at All are welcome to join an e-mail list that will receive direct updates about progress at NCRC; instructions are available at the Web site.