City Desk

Washington Post Considering Selling Its Headquarters

The Washington Post's 63-year-old downtown office building at 1150 15th St. NW is part of the paper's public image. But according to a staffwide memo from publisher Katharine Weymouth, the Washington Post Co. is considering selling the building and moving the paper somewhere else.

"It is hard to imagine moving after so many years," writes publisher Weymouth in the memo, which is in full below. "Yet, once we removed the presses from this building over ten years ago, we were no longer tied to this particular location."

The Post Co. has hired real estate advisers to explore selling the building, according to Weymouth. Unloading the 15th Street property could be a windfall for the Post–the paper's own story on the potential moves notes that its downtown properties are valued by the District at about $80 million. According to the memo, the Post Co. hasn't decided when it might move, nor to where.

A move would be only the latest physical retrenchment for the paper, which started closing many of its regional bureaus in Maryland and Virginia in 2012.

Weymouth's full memo:

I wanted to let everyone know that we are actively exploring relocating our headquarters.This building has given us so much and has watched history unfold. It is hard to imagine moving after so many years. And yet, once we removed the presses from this building over ten years ago, we were no longer tied to this particular location. We understand that this is a big undertaking and a change for all of us. We take all of this seriously.

Our goal is to give us a more modern, bright, open and efficient building that better supports and advances our mission into the future. Our preliminary analysis suggests that a move will make good operational and economic sense, however we have not yet decided on where or when.

We wanted to let you know what we are thinking at this early stage.

We have begun to assemble a small and talented team of real estate and design professionals. We have selected Studley, Inc. and JM Zell Partners, Ltd as our real estate advisors. We are also in the process of interviewing space planners and architects.

Our next step is to work with them to engage the market for our current headquarters, identify sites where we could relocate, design our new space, and develop a realistic timeline for a move.

In the coming months, you may see people poking around the office from time to time and may be asked to participate in a survey or a short interview with one of our space planners.

We will keep you updated as this process moves along.

Katharine

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • kob

    On paper this may make sense. I don't know the history. How long has the post been in this particular building? How much of the newsroom culture is tied to physical familiarity? And what will the Post do with its "windfall?" Will it invest the money and, say, use the returns to endow some newsroom jobs?

  • 20011

    "Will it invest the money and, say, use the returns to endow some newsroom jobs?"

    I laffed.

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