Boston Globe explores sale of headquarters

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe will explore a sale of its headquarters, Beth Healy reports.

The newspaper’s next home will “reflect our culture of excellence and the direction our business is headed over the next few decades,” Globe chief executive Mike Sheehan wrote in a memo to employees. He also tells them “don’t start packing boxes quite yet.” (Memo below.)

The Boston Globe building (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, file)

The Globe’s current building includes its printing facilities. Healy says the building may be worth as much as $70 million. John Henry bought the Globe last year for $70 million cash.

The Washington Post’s former owners agreed last November to sell its building for $159 million. The paper is considering a new home that figures prominently in a Dan Brown novel.

Rick Edmonds wrote last year about the logic of selling newspaper buildings. Not only do many such publications have smaller headcounts, they often occupy large parcels of land “particularly attractive to developers, which might otherwise need to assemble a suitable property from several owners.”
Here’s Sheehan’s memo:

To all Boston Globe employees,

There’s been much speculation about the sale of our property on Morrissey Boulevard, and we’d like to inform you of some recent decisions relative to that potential decision. Tomorrow, we will announce that we have hired Colliers International to represent us in exploring the feasibility of such a transaction and to help us identify possible buyers.

This is the first step in a very long process, and it understandably leads to meaningful questions that are entirely legitimate, but at this time unanswerable. Until Colliers finishes this process, we have no idea of the true value of the property, and any move would be based upon that knowledge. That said, it is highly likely that we will find a suitable buyer and will eventually move from our current home.

But don’t start packing boxes quite yet. Any move, if it happens, would be years away, not months. That leads to another legitimate question: where would we go? The honest answer: we don’t know.

On a parallel track, we will begin exploring all our options, which are many. Rest assured, wherever our next home is, it will reflect our culture of excellence and the direction our business is headed over the next few decades.

Mike Sheehan

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  • Naomi Lakritz

    The explanatory hype is so ridiculous: their next building will reflect “their culture of excellence.” What they really mean is they’re selling the building to help cut costs and save money due to a continuing plunge in ad revenue. Why don’t they just say so? Journalism is supposed to be about speaking the truth, and that means when speaking to employees, not just to the public.