McClatchy Sells 'Sacramento Bee' HQ

Two more newspapers are saying goodbye to their headquarters – or in this case, just the deed.

McClatchy Co. announced it is selling the buildings housing two of its newspapers, The Sacramento Bee in California and The State in Columbia, SC, to two different buyers. The company plans to lease the offices back to the newspapers, in what has become a common arrangement for financially strapped publishers.

McClatchy sold the Bee’s headquarters, which also contains the company’s corporate offices, to Shopoff Advisors LP, associated with real-estate investment firm Shopoff Realty Investments, for $51 million. The State’s offices went for around $17 million, and were purchased by Twenty Lakes Holding, a commercial real-estate development and management firm based in New York City.

The publisher also signed a 15-year lease with Shopoff to lease back the Sacramento Bee’s headquarters, with initial annual lease payments of around $4.6 million, as well as a similar agreement with initial annual payments of $1.6 million with Twenty Lakes for The State’s offices.

McClatchy will use the proceeds from these sales to pay down its debt, the company revealed. Both properties were on the market for less than a year. The company is also considering the sale of the office building housing another newspaper, the Kansas City Star.

As noted above, a number of newspaper publishers — or their erstwhile corporate relations — have looked to shore up their bottom lines by selling valuable real estate in recent years.

In October of last year, Tribune Media, one of two companies formed by the division of Tribune Co., sold the iconic Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago to Los Angeles-based CIM Group for $240 million. The tower is still home to the Chicago Tribune, now owned by former corporate sibling Tronc (nee Tribune Publishing).

The Chicago Tribune has a lease that runs through 2018, at which point it may have to relocate. Tribune Media also sold the headquarters of the Los Angeles Times, along with several other buildings, to Canadian develop Onni for a total $430 million.

Also last year, The Boston Globe announced it would sell its offices in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood after almost six decades and move back to downtown Boston. Back in 2011, McClatchy sold the Miami Herald’s headquarters for $236 million. In 2009, The New York Times sold its own share in its new headquarters to W.P. Carey & Co. for $225 million, with an option to buy it back in 2019.

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