Hearst Corp., the newspaper’s corporate parent, is exploring a possible sale of the iconic Art Deco building at 301 Avenue E, according to a story posted on its website. The downtown structure has housed the paper's operations for 90 years.
Hearst has no set asking price for the offices or their adjacent shipping and printing facilities.
“The purpose of this is to explore the development opportunities for this property,” Publisher Susan Pape said in the story. “It is in no way related to a change in our structure, our commitment to the community or the products that we are going to produce."
Pape added that redevelopment of nearby swaths of downtown, including the Broadway corridor and Alamo Plaza make for a "good time" for Hearst to look into a sale.
Of course, it's also worth noting that the newspaper industry's ongoing free fall has left the E-N a much smaller operation. After years of layoffs and attrition, the paper only employs 300 people, meaning the top four floors of its building are vacant.
The San Antonio Light building, which Hearst acquired when it bought out the Express-News' sole daily competitor, also once housed personnel. However, that structure was shuttered in 2009 and is now being converted into Class A office space.
The Express-News plans to remain downtown in a location where employees can work “more efficiently,” the story reported, citing an unnamed spokesman.
The Bexar Appraisal District values the property at $10.4 million.
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