Sunday, February 14, 2016

Philly daily newspapers in search for new home

Will old Strawbridge's or ex-Rohm and Haas be new newsroom?

Philly daily newspapers in search for new home

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Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com, is looking at the 8th and Market St. building that once housed the former Strawbridge & Clothier’s flagship retail store, and at Dow Chemical Co.'s former Rohm and Haas building at 6th and Market on Independence Mall, as possible future newsroom and office sites for hundreds of workers and managers.

That follows the company's sale of the white-towered Inquirer-Daily News building at 400 North Broad Street, its home since the 1920s, to Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments, best known for converting former Philadelphia factories and office buildings to yuppie apartments, stores and restaurants.

A move to 8th and Market is "one of the options we’re looking at,” but discussions at this stage are “not definitive,” Philadelphia Media general counsel Michael Kuritzkes told me. Dow has turned the modern Rohm and Haas headquarters into the headquarters of one of its business groups, but it doesn't need all the space, and it's seeking tenants for the upper floors.

Ron Rubin’s Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which has been seeking state aid to renovate and redevelop some of its other Market East holdings, including the Gallery, is the lead owner of the 8th and Market property.

UPDATED: If the papers strike a deal with PREIT, their offices would occupy "one or more" of the vacant floors between the retail space on the ground level and state offices on the fourth, fifth and six floors, PREIT Services president Joseph Corardino told me. State workers moved there after leaving the state office building at 1400 Spring Garden St., two doors north of the Inquirer building, after Blatstein agreed to buy it in 2008.

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at http://www.philly.com/PhillyDeals and his Inquirer columns at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/joseph-distefano/. Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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