Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Detroit | Old Free Press building sold for $4M-plus

Building was Freep's home from 1925-1998.
The iconic downtown building that once housed the Detroit Free Press during Knight-Ridder's ownership has been sold in an online auction for more than $4 million, the Lansing State Journal says today.

The identity of the winning bidder wasn't immediately known. The vacant building, which opened in 1925, has been owned by Florida-based Luke Investments since 2008.

The Freep moved out in 1998 and joined The Detroit News -- then owned by Gannett -- in another even older building from 1917 on the same street, West Lafayette. It's also home to the GCI-controlled Detroit Media Partnership, the agency that handles business operations for both papers under a joint operating agreement.

Both buildings were designed by the architect Albert Kahn.

The Freep's current 1917 home, too, has been on the market since January as the two papers plus the DMP seek a more modern location. The three entities employed about 1,500 people, including 600 downtown, when the building was put up for sale.

Across the country, Gannett and other publishers have been selling underused real estate as they shrink operations amid a strengthening market for commercial property. In many places, however, this has threatened historic buildings that once symbolized the power of newspapers in far better times.

Gannett has owned the Freep and held control of the JOA since a 2005 deal with Knight-Ridder. The News is now owned by MediaNews Group.

Current home of Freep, News and DMP also on market.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize the Detroit operations employed so many: 1,500.

    And mentioning Knight-Ridder is a blast from the past.


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."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.