The Miami Herald has 732 employees, including 20 who work in a Pembroke Pines office and will not be affected by the move.
The Southcom site allows for office and production facilities in the same location, direct access to two major highways, nearby restaurants and shopping, and a building designed to withstand the toughest of potential hurricane conditions, Landsberg said. The deal to purchase the adjoining land also includes three generators that can run some of The Heralds presses in an emergency.
The city of Doral has long been considered a corporate business hub with more than 9,000 businesses and several Fortune 500 companies. Carnival Cruise Lines, Ryder and Perry Ellis International are among those with headquarters in the city. With a commercial population that grows to more than 150,000 employees daily and a residential population that more than doubled from 20,000 in 2000 to more than 45,000 in 2010, Doral is one of South Floridas fastest growing cities.
Pat Talamantes, McClatchys vice president and chief financial officer, said terms of the land purchase and the cost of building the new plant will be disclosed by McClatchy next week in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company holds $6 million from the Genting purchase in escrow to offset the moving costs, Talamantes said. The company used $165 million from the sale to fund pension obligations; the remainder was used to pay outstanding debt associated with McClatchys 2006 acquisition of Knight-Ridder, The Heralds former parent.
Because of the work youre about to embark on, youve enabled us to make our company stronger, Talamantes told Herald employees.
The Doral site is one of several The Herald has considered since selling its property eight months ago. The company initially favored the site of the former Bertram Yacht headquarters, just east of Miami International Airport on Northwest 37th Avenue and 21st Street. That deal, which would have involved build-to-suit construction of a joint office and production facility, ran into problems over financial terms.
Ultimately, The Herald decided the best move to meet its financial and time constraints was to lease existing office space and build the plant itself, Landsberg said.
The advantage to buying the land and building the plant is that it gives us 100 percent certainty that this will happen from a financial perspective, Landsberg said. Given our timeframe, we could not allow something to happen that could delay our having a place to go. We wanted to be completely in control of our future.
The new offices will be in a 158,000-square-foot building that is owned by GPA-1, LP of Memphis. The building housed the U.S. Southern Command until it moved into new adjacent headquarters in 2010. The landlord will provide The Herald with an allowance to cover the costs of gutting the interior.
Three of The Heralds existing presses will be retrofitted and relocated to the new production building, east of the office building, Landsberg said. The three-story, 119,000-square-foot production facility will be built using pre-fabricated panels. Site work is expected to begin in late March; the company plans to begin installing the presses in December 2012.
Its really tight to do what we want to do, but its really doable, said Craig Woischwill, senior vice president of circulation and operations for The Miami Herald.
The new plant is expected to allow The Herald to improve its printing quality and approximately double the amount of color pages. In addition to The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, MHMC prints and distributes The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, New York Post and El País, among others.
The new offices will allow The Herald to create a newsroom for the digital age, Miami Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marques Gonzalez said.
Well be able to build a modern newsroom around a central hub that truly integrates our multimedia operations, including our print, website, radio, video, mobile news and tablet platforms, Marques Gonzalez said. Weve been visiting and studying other newsrooms to incorporate the best ideas around the country into our new space.
Manny Garcia, El Nuevo Heralds executive editor and general manager, said The move signifies an important investment in our community, South Florida and the region.
There is no place more exciting to be a journalist than here, and this decision is the clearest sign that we are here to stay.