After several months of speculation, The Washington Post Co. announced via an ad in the paper today that they are placing their longtime Washington, D.C. headquarters up for sale.
The Post wouldn’t say how much the building is worth, nor what they are seeking for the property, but the 465,000 sq. ft. building, along with two adjacent buildings the Post owns, have been assessed by the D.C. government at $80 million. It could be worth far more than that to a developer in a city where there is very little undeveloped space left.
Unlike The New York Times, which moved into a new 52-story headquarters in 2007, only to sell it and lease it back two years later to pay down debt, the Post has no plans to remain in its 63-year old headquarters building. They will instead use the proceeds from the sale to fund a new—and presumably smaller—office somewhere else in the region, and use the rest of the money to pay down debt and fund operations.
The Post could definitely use the money, as its newspaper operations have been hit hard by the ad recession and subscriber defections to the Internet. That, combined with the near evaporation of profits from the company’s former cash cow, Kaplan Education, have badly crippled the company.