Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The longtime home of the San Antonio Express-News is on the market.
The Express-News reported Friday that owner Hearst Corp. is exploring a possible sale of the downtown building at 301 Avenue E, which has served as the office for San Antonio’s daily newspaper for 90 years.
The eight-story building, which sits on 2.1 acres and has about 172,000 square feet of space, was recently assessed at $10.4 million by the Bexar County Appraisal District. There is no listed price for the property.
The newspaper, which moved into the building in 1929, has shrunk its staff following a series of layoffs in recent years, and the building’s top four floors are empty.
Ed Cross and Brent Smith of Cushman & Wakefield-San Antonio are marketing the Express-News building for Hearst. The local arm of the international real estate brokerage is also selling the AT&T building on Broadway Street and Hildebrand Avenue to the University of Incarnate Word, and sold the building that held the former San Antonio Light in 2016 for Hearst. GrayStreet Partners bought the Light building and is renovating it for new tenants. Architectural firm Ford, Powell & Carson plan to move its operations to that building.
Cross said Cushman & Wakefield is putting together materials for potential buyers,and plans to actively market the property by June 1. He has yet to hear from any interested buyers, he said.
“The Express-News wanted to inform their employees and kind of discuss the significance of this,” Cross said. “This is a landmark building and they’ve been in there for  years, and they wanted to make sure [the staff] heard about it first … but I know my phone will start ringing this afternoon and next week because of this news.”
David Adelman of Area Real Estate said he had not heard of interested buyers, but has his own eyes on the Express-News building.
“I don’t know of anybody else who’s looking at it, though I know there will be plenty,” he said. “… It will be looked at by a lot of potential buyers.”
Cross said he hopes to close a sale on the property by the end of the year. He said the printing press located on the property in an adjoining building would continue to be used by the Express-News.
The property is zoned for downtown, which means it is ready to use for purposes such as office space, retail, a hotel, or apartment units.
Express-News Publisher Susan Pape told her newspaper that the sale is not related to any changes in the company’s structure.
“It’s all about the real estate,” she said. “Given the development opportunities in San Antonio, with the Alamo reimagined, with all the Broadway corridor [construction], this is just a good time for us to explore this.”