BHennington

News and Observer Moving

26 posts in this topic

According to the New Raleigh's Facebook page, The News and Observer are rumored to be moving to a new location and the site will be up for sale. Hopefully we can get a good 25+ story development on this site. 

 

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I've been hoping for this for a long time. A nice tower and plaza would fit nicely in that spot, or at least a mixed use development. Just not more apartments please.

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This would be an unexpected good turn of events, the discussion about it before McClatchy bought the N&O 10 years ago notwithstanding. Only thing that has me wondering though, is the recent investment in the McClatchy Interactive office space. If the rumor were true is it just the printing operations being moved or outsourced even?

Anyway yeah, I agree this spot is really key and just plopping a medium sized apartment building would be a waste. Retail along Salisbury is an absolute must. I'm also influenced by the historic use of the block (no less than two hotels operated along the N&O stretch of Martin) and think this might be a good spot to squeeze in a hotel on the corner facing Nash Square say...

Edited by Jones_

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It's been years since I was inside the N&O complex, but I assume that staff reductions have created a lot of empty office space that McClatchy cannot lease out. If the rumor is true, I wonder if the administrative and content personnel will remain in downtown or will move with the printing and distribution operation to a facility on 440 or 540 somewhere.

Edited by ctl

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There are a few reporters that cover state and local government that would benefit from a downtown newsroom. So I could see a small N&O office staying downtown, but there are few business reasons for a struggling business to keep anyone else in expensive real estate.

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Earlier this year, the Durham Herald-Sun moved its printing to High Point and put its building in Durham up for sale. (The editorial offices are moving to a new location in Durham.) This type of move is common as the traditional newspaper industry continues to decline. The N&O is somewhat better off because of population growth and good demographics in Wake County, but it's not immune.

 

Newspaper presses are big, expensive, complex machines that cannot moved overnight to new locations. Also the N&O does printing for other publications like the daily newspaper in Southern Pines. If I recall correctly, the N&O bought a new press in the 1990s. Usually a press lasts 25 years or more. Will be interesting to see what the logistics of this are. Without starting a new rumor, it might make sense for printing of both the Charlotte Observer and the N&O to be consolidated in a new location halfway between the two metros. 

Edited by ctl

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Only thing that has me wondering though, is the recent investment in the McClatchy Interactive office space. If the rumor were true is it just the printing operations being moved or outsourced even?

 

Well McClatchy Interactive is a separate entity so I think it is highly unlikely they would move from their brand new just built space.

 

To me, it would make a ton of sense for a lot of the writers and editors to stay downtown since a lot of news happens there. 

 

Dream scenario in my opinion:  relocate the printing facility, consolidate workers into building facing Nash Square.  Tear down the existing building at Salisbury & Martin corner and build 25+ floor mixed use building with a few floors leased to N&O.  Then redevelop the rest of the available site.  (A preset tenant always seems to make projects get off the ground easier.  And get other tenants to sign up too.)

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This lot may be one of the best in Raleigh. It seems likely that this property will get picked up quickly if the N&O is serious. Hopefully a developer willing to invest $100 million+ will take the opportunity to turn this piece of property into a staple development for the downtown area. A great piece of property for a new downtown headquarters of a large corporation.

Any specific corporations that y'all would enjoy seeing in Raleigh?

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Well - Mercedes is one that we're in play for. That'd be a good spot for them?

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Yes, that would be fantastic. Especially with Mercedes history of investing in expensive advertising ventures i.e Superdome in New Orleans. "Mercedes MLB Park Raleigh" has a nice ring to it.

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I think hotel/residential/retail uses should front the park and Martin, and office uses should front Salisbury. They would have to go and get Sandreuter's opinion. Thankfully, it seems like his plate is full at the moment. 

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Andy Andrews from Dominion Realty was also quoted in the TBJ and indicated that he thinks the property is prime and would suit a HQ type development.

 

I've always felt that a 40-50 story high rise would work well on this site. An upscale hotel would also work well in a mixed use development.

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It's important to note that no deal would include the Martin Building.  It was renovated for $2.6 million and is currently leased to McClatchy Interactive, which provides online services for all of McClatchy’s newspapers.

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Earlier this year, the Durham Herald-Sun moved its printing to High Point and put its building in Durham up for sale. (The editorial offices are moving to a new location in Durham.) This type of move is common as the traditional newspaper industry continues to decline. The N&O is somewhat better off because of population growth and good demographics in Wake County, but it's not immune.

Newspaper presses are big, expensive, complex machines that cannot moved overnight to new locations. Also the N&O does printing for other publications like the daily newspaper in Southern Pines. If I recall correctly, the N&O bought a new press in the 1990s. Usually a press lasts 25 years or more. Will be interesting to see what the logistics of this are. Without starting a new rumor, it might make sense for printing of both the Charlotte Observer and the N&O to be consolidated in a new location halfway between the two metros.

. The Observer recently bought & moved their printing operations to the University City area & are in the early stages of looking to unload their downtown facility. It covers over 9 acres of land & is in a prime location also. I really interested in seeing what becomes of both

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Which is the Martin building?

The Martin Building is the one adjacent to and west of Father and Sons. I am glad the whole Hargett street frontage of this block will remain untouched. All are historic structures with character that is important to making downtown a place people actually want to hang out in. 

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. The Observer recently bought & moved their printing operations to the University City area & are in the early stages of looking to unload their downtown facility. It covers over 9 acres of land & is in a prime location also. I really interested in seeing what becomes of both

 

Appears that McClatchy is moving ahead with the sale of the facility in Charlotte. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/01/06/5429661/sources-lincoln-harris-planning.html#.VK1QK9WsU40 

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This has the potential to be the biggest project we've seen downtown. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Between this, Kane, and the recent sale on Hillsborough of city land, the downtown Raleigh skyline could change dramatically in the next 3-5 years.

 

 

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Having Clearscapes on the team is a good sign. Also Andy Sandman tends to think big...sometimes bigger than he can pull off, but the combination of thinking big, deep pockets on the team, and a solid design firm, does indeed add up to having a reason to hope this goes well. 

Edited by Jones_

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They will buy a new press and install it in their Garner production facility. Some production jobs will move to Garner. The N&O has fewer pages than it once did, so they can get by with a lower-capacity press... especially if the number of print copies continues to decline. Once the new press is up and running, the old press will be removed from the downtown building. Then the former production area will be renovated as offices. Then they can move out of the buildings to be razed. The plan makes good sense but it will be interesting to see whether they execute the plan on schedule. There are many sequential steps in this plan.  

Edited by ctl

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