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Digital First Media Properties Housing The Reporter in Lansdale, Times Herald in Norristown Hit the Market

Tony Di Domizio

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 • 2:27am

Seventy-one Digital First Media properties housing newspapers and commercial printing services – including The Reporter at 307 Derstine Ave. in Lansdale and The Times Herald at 410 Markley St. in Norristown – are now on the real estate market Tuesday. No newspapers are shutting down.

The properties are being sold by Twenty Lake Holdings of New York City through its broker, Praxis Commercial. According to its website, Twenty Lakes is a third-party real estate management firm to Digital First Media, MediaNews Group and 21st Century Media newspapers. The listings are owned by those three entities.

Twenty properties, including 307 Derstine Ave. and 410 Markley St., have been on the market for some time. View the first 20 listings here.

Poynter Online first reported that there are 70 total Digital First Media properties for sale.

Digital First Media Regional Digital Manager Terry Casey tweeted about the sale Tuesday: “I'm not upset, BTW. These offices used to house HUGE presses. We don't need all of that space anymore. Buy away!”

In 2013, MediaNews Group and Yardley-based 21st Century Media (ex-Journal Register Company) merged, and are jointly managed by Digital First Media, along with Digital First Ventures, according to a press release by Digital First Media. As of 2012, Digital First Media had 66 million readers, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The company employs more than 10,000 people.

The Reporter building, which sits on one acre at Derstine Avenue and Vine Street, owned by 307 Derstine Avenue LLC, has a gross leasable property of 27,362 square feet: 7,114 square feet of office space and the rest industrial.  The interior of the two-story former firehouse was recently remodeled. Montgomery County land records assess the property at $656,000.

The other properties listed for sale are:

  • The Denver Post, 5990 N. Washington St., Denver, CO
  • New Haven Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT (21st Century Media’s flagship paper)
  • The Record, 501 Broadway, Troy, NY
  • The Daily Freeman, 79 Hurley Ave., Kingston, NY
  • The Oakland Press, 48 W. Huron St., Pontiac, MI
  • The Morning Journal, 1657 Broadway, Lorain, OH
  • The News Herald, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH
  • Daily Local News, 250 N. Bradford Ave., West Chester, PA
  • The Mercury, 24 N. Hanover St., Pottstown, PA
  • Nittany Valley Offset, 1015 Benner Pike, State College, PA
  • Journal Register Offset, 390 Eagleview Road, Exton, PA
  • Inter Print, 2100 Frost Road, Bristol, PA
  • Imprint Printing, 97 Delco Park Road, North Haven, CT
  • The Daily Dispatch, 130 Broad St., Oneida, NY
  • Saline Reporter, 106 W. Michigan Ave., Saline, MI
  • MS Gaylord Warehouse, 1001 Dickerson Road, Gaylord, MI
  • Town Talk Newspapers, 1914 Parker Ave., Holmes, PA
  • TINI-Macomb Production Facility, 35110 Garfield Road, Clinton Township, MI

See the 51 other listings here.

In 2011, the building that, since 1948, housed the Main Line Times at 311 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, Lower Merion Township, was sold for $3.2 million, according to Montgomery County property records. According to a press release on the Twenty Lakes Holding website, Main Line Media News moved to a new headquarters at 110 Ardmore Ave.

“Because of the changes in our industry, we are investing in the way we deliver the news, while consolidating and re-evaluating other aspects of the business,” stated the release. “The truth is we are a much different operation than we used to be, and the sprawling building that now houses our editorial, advertising and circulation offices is simply too big for us.”

Some newspapers of the Journal Register Company chain, like The Reporter and Main Line Times, had their printing presses removed from their respective buildings, as all printing was handled by the offset in Exton, Chester County, per the 2011 release.

In 2013, the building housing Montgomery Media at 290 Commerce Drive in Upper Dublin Township was sold for $1.6 million by Journal Register East Inc. to 290 Commerce Drive LLC, and many editorial and operational activities moved to The Reporter building in Lansdale.

The Delaware County Delaware Times building at 500 Mildred Ave. went on the market in 2011.

In 2008, Journal Register Co. was removed from the New York Stock Exchange for low share prices, according to the company’s 2008 first quarter report.

Journal Register Co., in February 2009, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York; six months later, it came out of bankruptcy as a private company.

In 2012, Journal Register Co. filed for bankruptcy protection, according to the Sept. 6, 2012 issue of The Wall Street Journal.

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