New Plant for 'Palm Beach Post'

By: Jim Rosenberg With no room for expansion adjacent to its existing West Palm Beach, Fla., headquarters, The Palm Beach Post has "a contract to buy some land" to the west, says Production Vice President Bob Balfe.

County commissioners approved the rezoning of just under 21 acres from agricultural to multi-use planned development, including manufacturing. As plans now stand, that should allow the 154,786-circulation Cox Newspapers daily to erect a 361,000-square-foot plant about eight miles from its current site.

The Austin Company has worked up "drawings and elevations to get us through the zoning process," Balfe says.

His operation now runs 24 Goss Metro units, with three folders, dating from 1967 -- to which the Miami Herald's old color decks were recently added as what Balfe calls "a short-term thing"; a 15-year-old Goss Colorliner, in six towers (not all equipped for four-over-four color printing) and folder; and a singlewide Goss Suburban.

Those presses will be replaced, and the Post is working with Cox Newspapers on equipment selection for the new plant. The existing presses all have a long cut-off of 23-9/16 inches -- the main reason for not keeping the comparatively new Colorliner, according to Balfe. And with newer, faster presses, he says, "we probably wouldn't need four folders."

Emphasizing that he is expressing only his own preferences, Balfe calls 2005 the "year for designing a new facility and selection of equipment. And the soonest the construction could start," he says, "would be 2006."


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