The headquarters for the Tampa Tribune/TBO.com (of which this reporter is a former employee) have officially been sold, the paper is reporting.
While the sale price hasn't been disclosed yet, Miami-based developer Related Group is slated to build a 400-unit condo building with a restaurant on the property, so a decent amount of money probably changed hands. The revenue from the sale will be dedicated to expanding the paper's marketing operations and circulation and to paying down debt, publisher Brian Burns said.
This may seem like shitty news for all the incredibly hardworking reporters, editors, copy people, photographers and others based at the downtown Tampa riverfront site, but it's actually not so bad. If the sale helps alleviate financial pressures, maybe that'll stave off any more layoffs at the paper, which had been happening on a near-quarterly basis in recent years.
Demolition is expected to take place next year, and until then, the Trib's entire operations, printing press and all, will stay put.
It may take a while, though, for Burns and crew to find a suitable site. The paper's St. Pete bureau worked out of a warehouse for 16 months before suitable office space was found.
In the meantime, perhaps the bulk of the editorial staff can work from home. Trust us, it's fun. We do it a lot.
In fact, we may or may not be working from our kitchen table right now, staring at a dead orchid and sipping a Diet Canada Dry that's situated next to an old Trib mug with two fingers of cold black coffee in it.
All we can say is, we're glad the paper is still kicking, and wish it many more years of being in existence.
We should note that the Tampa Bay Times is in a not un-similar boat, and has had its downtown St. Pete headquarters location on the market for months.