The Austin American-Statesman posted a curious story on their website that suggests the prime piece of real estate the newspaper’s office building sits on is for sale.
The Statesman’s owners, Cox Media Group, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon confessing that they have received several offers for the land on Lady Bird Lake.
There is an emerging building boom in downtown Austin and lakefront property is a prime location. The Statesman’s offices and printing operations sit on 19 acres of land on the southeast side of the Congress Avenue bridge. They bought the property in 1980. Back then, times weren’t so tough for newspapers and the cost of downtown real estate wasn’t as valuable as it is today.
The Cox statement says they’re not selling the newspaper (they tried that in 2009), but it does not say that the property isn’t for sale.
As with all offers, consideration is given, but no decision has been made at this time,” said the statement from the company’s corporate offices in Atlanta. “Cox Media Group remains committed to the Statesman, the Austin community and our employees and has no plans to sell the newspaper.
This certainly has to strike fear in the hearts of Statesman employees who have watched the paper’s staff and revenue shrivel in recent years.
Some 58 Statesman employees got pinked slipped last October and 167 were offered “voluntary buyouts” last June.
The Statesman mirrors the absolute collapse of the newspaper business in the U.S. as publishers continue to struggle with the digital medium.
Cox didn’t divulge just who is trying to buy the Statesman property, nor did they disclose the price.