Hearst Newspapers is putting two more Houston properties up for sale as it continues to shed underutilized real estate throughout Texas.
The properties, both warehouses east of downtown, had been used as distribution and storage facilities for the Houston Chronicle. Those operations have been relocated to the company’s headquarters at 4747 Southwest Freeway, part of an ongoing trend of consolidation among media companies nationwide.
Amid declines in print circulation, newspapers across the country have shrunk their physical operations, in many cases, selling prime real estate to increase revenue.
"We’re trying to be smart about where we invest our money for a digital future. These buildings used to house big presses and a lot more people," said Michael Sacks, senior vice president of operations for Hearst Newspapers. "As business has changed to be more digital, you want to have a work environment that reflects that."
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The Houston properties for sale include 1800 Delano, a 9,900-square-foot building on two acres with frontage on Interstate 45; and 5959 Harvey Wilson, a 71,300-square-foot building on 5.3 acres. The Harris County Appraisal District values the properties at $2.5 million and $3.3 million, respectively.
Micheal Palmer of CBRE has the listings. Neither has an asking price.
New York-based Hearst, which in Texas owns the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Beaumont Enterprise and papers in Laredo and Midland, recently listed buildings in each of its Texas markets.
"Almost all of those buildings were old printing facilities, so we’re investing in smaller, more contemporary office facilities for the staff," Sacks said.
In October 2015, Hearst Newspapers sold the Chronicle’s downtown building at 801 Texas to Hines, and operations moved to 4747 Southwest Freeway. The purchase price was $54 million, according to testimony during a 2016 trial over tunnel access. Hines is currently building an office tower on the site.
Once the local sales are completed, Hearst will still own the 4747 Southwest Freeway and a building in Conroe that houses the Courier of Montgomery County newspaper.