Monitor building is for sale; newsroom looks to move closer to downtown

  • The "Concord Monitor" building on Sewalls Falls Road, along with several acres of land, is up for sale. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • The Monitor building and land. —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 2/11/2019 11:50:13 PM

A quarter-century after moving out of downtown, the Concord Monitor is looking to shift its news operations once again by selling its East Concord building that will be largely empty when the printing press moves.

The listing price is nearly $6.5 million, which includes a 70,000-square-foot building and about 103 acres stretching along the Merrimack River, from the Monitor building north to Hannah Dustin Drive.

The listing of the building at 1 Monitor Drive is the latest move made by Monitor’s parent company, Newspapers of New England, to adjust to the changing newspaper industry. It echoes moves made by other New England newspapers, including the Boston Globe, the Telegraph of Nashua and Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover. They have each sold or consolidated their printing operations and then sold off their buildings, shifting news, advertising and administration into smaller offices closer to downtown.

“While our current location has served us well, we are excited to eventually move closer to downtown and the State House, where much of the news is made,” said Monitor publisher Heather McKernan.

Newspapers of New England is keeping hold of its printing operation, but is in the process of moving it to a new site. The company is building a large press in the former Rivco building in Penacook that will soon take over printing of the Monitor.

Once the new printing press is fully running, the Monitor’s press at 1 Monitor Drive will shut down, leaving more than half the current building empty.

NNE also owns the Valley News of West Lebanon and the biweekly Monadnock Ledger-Transcript in Peterborough, as well as several newspapers in Massachusetts. The Penacook facility began printing the Valley News two weeks ago.

NNE rents 42,000 square feet in the former Rivco manufacturing plant in Penacook. The space does not include offices for a newsroom or other services unrelated to printing or distribution. It’s unclear where these will move when the 1 Monitor Drive building is sold.

About half of the 1 Monitor Drive site is a three-story office building and half is industrial, warehouse and distribution.

Deane Navaroli of William & Reeves, the commercial real estate firm handling the sale, said one possibility could involve dividing up the land. A portion could be developed separately if an extension is made to Monitor Drive, currently little more than a driveway into the Monitor building from Sewalls Falls Road.

The Monitor has been published in Concord since 1864. For most of that time it was in downtown, moving between several buildings.

In 1990 the paper moved to its current building at the east end of the Sewalls Falls Bridge reflecting an industry-wide trend of newspapers leaving the center of cities, both for lower land values and because that made it easier to distribute thousands of newspapers every morning.

In recent years, with the print newspaper industry shrinking, many papers are reversing the trend.

Newspapers of New England has retained the commercial real estate services firm of William & Reeves to market the building and land.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)


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1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

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