The buildings and land occupied by the Orlando Sentinel have been put up for sale by Tribune Media, the company that formerly owned the newspaper and still owns the real estate, according to GrowthSpotter.
GrowthSpotter, a business news service that’s a sister publication of the Sentinel, cited anonymous sources “with direct knowledge” in reporting Saturday that the 18.69-acre property at the southeast corner of Colonial Drive and Orange Avenue is on the market.
In 2014 the owner of the Orlando Sentinel and a number of other newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the SunSentinel in Fort Lauderdale, reorganized and spun off the newspapers themselves into a new, independent company, Tribune Publishing, which then went public. The old company became Tribune Media and retained all the real estate that the newspapers occupy, as well as all the legacy company’s broadcast outlets and other properties.
The Sentinel was on a 10-year lease. Employees were advised, though, that if the right development proposal came along the Sentinel could be bought out of its lease and have to move.
The Sentinel property covers two square blocks at the north end of Orlando’s downtown. It includes the Sentinel’s aging office building, now only about half occupied, the newspaper’s printing plant, two other small, largely unoccupied office buildings, and several parking lots.
Until recently that end of downtown had been sparsely developed for decades. The past three or four years, though, the areas immediately north of Colonial Boulevard and immediately west of Orange Avenue have developed rapidly into new midrise condominiums, apartments, and a hotel.