Observer-Dispatch building up for auction

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UTICA — Area motorists might have noticed a lack of vehicles in the parking lot of 221 Oriskany St. East in Utica, the longtime home of the Observer-Dispatch newspaper.

The building is now up for auction. This week, an online listing for the building was posted on LoopNet.com at: https://bit.ly/3psykXO

“The property is a Class B office/industrial building located at 221 Oriskany Street in Utica, New York. The property offers a great owner-operator opportunity or value-add through lease-up at market rates or the potential for redevelopment,” reads an executive summary on the listing, that continues. “The asset is a 58,160-SF vacant former Utica-Observer office/industrial manufacturing building in Utica, NY. Property benefits from its location off Oriskany Street which sees over 20,000 vehicles per day. Class B office property with ample parking located in the heart of Utica, NY. Property benefits from its location off Oriskany Street which sees over 20,000 vehicles per day.”

The auction period will last from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 and starting bids are set for $150,000.

The Daily Sentinel reached out to the Observer-Dispatch and its parent company, Gannett, for comment relating to future plans.

A Gannett spokesperson declined to comment on any potential asset transactions until they are final, but offered a general statement reaffirming the company’s community commitment.

“Like many other businesses, our office needs have evolved, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many changes in how and where we work. The Utica Observer-Dispatch remains firmly committed to serving our readers and advertisers, as the community’s preeminent source of news and information,” the statement read.

The auction comes at the end of changes in recent years ranging from corporate mergers to employees working remotely at times through the coronavirus pandemic, employees have confirmed.

In August of 2019 — GateHouse Media then the parent company of the Observer-Dispatch and Gannett which owns a host of newspapers including USA Today — announced they agreed to combine for roughly $1.4 billion.

GateHouse Media bought Gannett, promising to speed up a digital transformation as readers shift online. The new company retained the Gannett name after the merger.

The Observer-Dispatch celebrated its bicentennial in 2017.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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