Houston Chronicle Building Goes on Sale Tomorrow, the Chronicle Reports

HOUSTON CHRONICLE BUILDING GOES ON SALE TOMORROW, THE CHRONICLE REPORTS Houston Chronicle Building, 801 Texas Ave., Downtown HoustonThe Houston Chronicle’s 10-story downtown headquarters and neighboring parking garage will be listed for sale tomorrow — with the Hearst newspaper’s reporters and other employees still working away inside.Chronicle executives said prospective buyers have already expressed interest in the property and that more are expected once word spreads that the building at 801 Texas and an adjacent parking garage are up for sale,” writes real estate reporter Nancy Sarnoff from somewhere inside the complex. Indeed, company executives have already suggested to her the story’s conclusion: “’This building is likely to be torn down and replaced with a modern skyscraper that will generate more revenue for the city. It’s in a prime location,’ Paul Barbetta, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Houston Chronicle Media Group, said Monday.” Chronicle employees will be allowed to exit the building and take their belongings with them to a revamped, smaller, outside-the-Loop just-inside-the-Loop facility before that happens. [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Walter P Moore

23 Comment

  • I thought that the Chronicle was relocating to the old Post building that is located just inside the loop on the South side of US 59 (I-69).

  • Is the old Post building outside the loop?

  • Uhh, the old Houston Post building on Westpark that they will move into is actually INSIDE the loop. Though just barely…

  • The old Houston Post facility is not “outside-the-Loop”. It’s inside, albeit barely.

  • that wake the hearst company sees, still mildly moving the water is from the ship that sailed away here 8-12 months ago. good job, hearst. office development? nah, not unless 800 pound gorilla user driven. not likely. apartments? good luck talking a lender into that right now. hotel? other than the half a dozen new hotels to the downtown market, you are always haunted by the ghost of publicly subsidized convention hotels that don’t play by the same rules.

    What’s left? If Rich Kinder wants to sponsor Kinder park, it would be the greatest tax move ever, and he would be an all-timer on the philanthropic scene.

    City, county, or the government is, sadly, the current natural buyer, and the good news is, they are always expanding and creating their own source of funds. It’s actually an AWESOME site for an FBI field office. I watch Blacklist, I should know.

  • Isn’t the old Post site just inside the Loop?

  • Is it just me or is the old Houston Post Building actually inside the loop?

  • Just the building is for sale? Who owns the land? Is the Chronicle going to break the lease it has for the building?

  • Bama
    April 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm
    Is it just me or is the old Houston Post Building actually inside the loop?

    Must just be you.

  • I think the old Post Building / new Chronicle Building gets honorary Outside the Loop status thanks to it’s siting. After all, you’d be hard pressed to find a less walkable, less dense location Inside Loop 610.
    At least, I hope that’s what it is. It’s either that or we’ve been hit again by the Chronicle’s cub reporters and their failure to read maps.

  • Really nice of them to allow the employees to both exit the build AND take their belongings with them.

  • @Sam, Beau, ShadyHeightster, Eric, TMR, Bama, ZAW: Our flub. And fixed now. Thanks for catching it!

  • Pretty sure inside/outside won’t matter once TXDOT completes the planned half twist there at the 610/59 interchange. Cars will then be able to drive on the top and bottom of the Möbius 610 Loop, which should greatly reduce congestion.

  • I don’t want to repeat anything that’s already been said. But it seems like, if memory serves me, the old Houston Post building is actually INside the loop. Just a little.

  • They’re moving into that old, crusty dinosaur? Excellent place for them. :)

  • This one will be a buy and hold for someone. Its a great site and I think it comes with a parking garage nearby you can milk for revenue while you wait for the market to pick up. I predict the building itself will be imploded and it will be a surface lot for a while. Maybe a long while.

  • @HowComical: in all fairness, I think they’re scraping most of the crust off before moving in. At least, I hope…. Of course I also hoped that the Nancy Barnes would make some fundamental changes to the paper when she came in as Editor in 2013; and I’m still waiting for those.

  • Anon: if the buyer is a buy and hold type, why implode the building and stick a surface lot there? Why not lease out the building while you hold? Seems you could get way WAY more by leasing the space than by blowing it up and parking cars there. Also saves you the demo cost. Also gives you the option for future buyer to buy the in place building (vs selling to only a land buyer)

  • Perhaps no one here remembers, but the “old” Post Building on 59 is much younger than the Chronicle Building downtown. Under the marble and mirror-glass facade are hidden (at least 2) much older buildings. I remember seeing them as a kid, and they looked very early-20st-century. Which in the 60s and 70s, of course, was deemed unattractive … so they were covered up with a more modern — but still unattractive — facade. Later, the grotesque Chronicle garage was built on the site of what I recall being a relatively attractive old building diagonally opposite Market Square, where City Hall used to be.

  • There’s prolly a giant toxic pool of spilt ink under that place.

    We worked all around that building in the 90s, from the executive suites on the top floor to the ginormous printing presses in the basement.

    Since it is two or three old buildings clapboarded together there are some weird areas that would remind you of that movie Being John Malkovich.

    And the top floor executive conference room really does have lead lined walls/ceiling(supposedly to prevent spies from eavesdropping back in the day).

  • ZAW- Let’s not forget they can’t even afford to provide coffee for their staff anymore.

  • @cody
    The office space is probably too old and chopped up to be competitive with any halfway decent property. In the current slowing market, your demolition costs will be lower, and with the building gone, you’re all set to build when the market comes back. Also, the parking revenue potential for that site is great due to daytime office workers followed by nighttime theater goers.

  • I used to work here and would take walks around the building to deal with the crushing anxiety of working in a dying industry and often noticed black goo oozing from the cracks in the sidewalk. markd is probably right about that toxic spill of ink.