The McClatchy Company, owner of the Tri-City Herald, has sold its Kennewick building to a Pasco building and real estate firm led by Mike Detrick.
The $3.98 million sale-leaseback deal to D9 Contractors Inc. closed Friday.
The Tri-City Herald will continue to lease space at its long-time home.
“We are excited that D9Contractors Inc. has purchased the Herald building. They will be a great downtown partner,” said Jerry Hug, the Herald’s general manager and Northwest CFO for McClatchy. “We look forward to seeing what plans they have for the building and how this will continue to help grow downtown Kennewick.”
“To our readers and loyal subscribers and advertisers, we are still here in downtown, but because of our growth as a digital news producer, we no longer needed that much physical space,” said Hug. “We’ll continue to be here to serve our readers and advertisers needs and to be the best source of news for the Mid-Columbia.”
Digital subscriptions continue to grow for the Herald, which has 1.5 million page views monthly, he said.
The Herald’s current hours for the front desk are not changing with the building purchase. And the Herald’s on-site employees will continue to occupy part of the first floor of the two-story building.
Detrick together with his wife and parents bought the Herald building with a combination of cash and a loan from Wheatland Bank. The property is held by 7D Development at Herald Building LLC.
The sale covers about 102,000 square feet of Class A office and industrial space, including a 44,000-square-foot Class A office that opened in 2004.
The Sacramento, Calif.-based McClatchy media chain purchased the Herald in 1979.
Detrick said his family is thrilled to contribute to the revitalization of downtown Kennewick, where the Herald has been a long-time anchor.
Detrick plans to make minor modifications so he can lease unoccupied space to new tenants.
At full occupancy, the Herald building can accommodate 150 to 175 employees.
It is the largest privately-owned office structure in the city’s commercial core. Leasing space to additional tenants will bring in more workers who will patronize neighboring shops and restaurants, he said.
“This opportunity is unique. We’re excited to see what we can do to reinvigorate the building,” he said.
The Detricks will start by moving their own commercial drywall business into the building.
D9 Contractors, which is based in the blocks north of Pasco, will use former press room, newsprint storage and circulation areas for its construction equipment and supplies.
Scott Sautell of Retter & Company Sotheby’s International Realty brokered the sale. Sautell will serve as leasing agent.
The Herald building is the Dietrick family’s most ambitious purchase to date and a significant departure from its other efforts.
The family owns smaller apartment complexes in Kennewick and Richland and a multi-tenant office building off of West Clearwater Avenue. It is breaking ground on an office park in the Badger Mountain/Cottonwood area as well.
The Herald building was designed to house a single user. Spaces that once held various departments open to river-like corridors that run the length of the building on both floors.
Detrick will use his company’s commercial drywall expertise to convert the single tenant building into one that serves multiple tenants.
The Herald began as the Pasco Herald and became a daily in 1947.
It moved to Kennewick the following year, setting up shop at the corner of North Cascade and West Canal. The paper grew to take over several buildings in the neighborhood.
In 2003, it hired Chervenell Construction to construct a new building. It was built on a park owned and maintained by the newspaper on the west side of the property.
The new office opened in 2004, facing West Canal Drive. The old Cascade-facing offices were demolished and became a parking lot and warehouse access point.