Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Detroit | Building for Freep, News put on market

[Architect Albert Kahn designed building constructed in 1917]

The Detroit newspaper operations plan to relocate to a more modern location elsewhere in the city within the next 18 months, and their existing building is being put up for sale, according to a memo distributed late this afternoon.

"The goal," wrote Detroit Media Partnership CEO Joyce Jenereaux writes, "is to put us in more comfortable, attractive and functional offices in an environment that’s more vibrant and stimulating than our current location on the edge of downtown -- while saving the extraordinary expenses of maintaining a nearly 100-year-old building."

The current site, built in 1917 from a design by architect Albert Kahn, is historic, but it’s been obsolete for decades, according to Jenereaux. It was built primarily as a newspaper printing plant. "We haven’t printed newspapers in this building for more than 40 years," she says, "but we’re still operating in offices that were, in many cases, converted from pressroom and newsprint storage areas."

In addition to the DMP, the building houses the Gannett-owned Detroit Free Press and the MediaNews Group-owned Detroit News. The DMP, which Gannett controls, is a joint operating agency that handles printing, advertising sales and other business operations.

The building was offered for sale at auction last year, drawing an offer of $4.1 million in November, according to Deadline Detroit, which said that figure was rejected for being too low.

The Detroit announcement follows a similar move last week by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Other GCI properties have been sold, or are renting excess space to other tenants, including at Corporate's headquarters in McLean, Va., as the company trims operations worldwide.


  1. FYI: the photo you display here is of the former Free Press building at 321 Lafayette Blvd. This building was also coincidentally designed by Albert Kahn but completed in 1925 (details here: 321 has been vacant since the Free Press moved into 615 Lafayette in 1998 -- the Detroit News building. 321 was sold to FP Loft LLC / Farbman Group in 2001. #details

    1. Thanks; I've removed that photo. (I didn't realize that Kahn designed both buildings.)

  2. Hey fool -- what are you doing with this photo? Knight Ridder sold that building decades ago. Just because the Free Press name is written in stone, doesn't mean they own it. Another lame example of laziness on Jimbo's part. Ha Ha

  3. Perhaps David L. Hunke and Susie Ellwood can get a merger going again and buy the remains they left behind?

  4. "The goal . . . is . . . more comfortable, attractive and functional offices in an environment that’s more vibrant and stimulating than our current location on the edge of downtown."

    So they're moving to Windsor?

  5. What does it mean when you cross out a paragraph, quoting from another source, but leave the words there so they can still be read? Does it mean that the information isn't/wasn't accurate? Or what?

    1. Good question. It means I'm eliminating something that's incorrect. I use the "strikeout" typeface so people know that I made a change.

      Simply deleting text like that would be misleading.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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