By: Jennifer Saba
Knight Ridder announced today that it’s putting on the block 10 acres of property located in front of the Miami Herald building, for an asking price of $150 million.
The property on Biscayne Boulevard contains parking lots and a two-story building that formerly housed telemarketing employees for the Herald. (Those employees now work in the main office.) The U.S. military also leases space for a recruiting station.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity in terms of real estate,” Robert Beatty, vice president/public affairs and general counsel, told E&P. He added that for several years, prospective buyers interested in the property, located west of the main Herald building, have approached Knight Ridder about selling.
The company insists this is not the beginning of a larger real-estate sell-off. “I want to emphasize that we are not selling the Herald plant or building,” said Larry Marbert, vice president of production and facilities at Knight Ridder, in a statement. “Our operations will continue to function much as we have for the last four decades at Herald Plaza.”
Knight Ridder executives hope the property will be used in a manner consistent with Miami’s current downtown development renaissance, which includes the new Performing Arts Center. “It is not hard to imagine that something more creative, substantial and vibrant than surface parking would be a boon to all,” Alberto Ibarg?en, publisher of The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, said in a statement.
Knight Ridder also promises that operational needs for the paper, like employee parking, “will have to be part of any agreement.”
Asked if any financial windfall from the sale of the property will feed back into the Herald, Beatty replied, “Knight Ridder owns the property.”