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Private equity group Platinum Equity, which bought the Union-Tribune in the spring of 2009, has taken a loss on a property it took over in the deal. Basically, Copley Press paid Platinum to take the U-T by selling it $100 million worth of real estate for $50 million. Right away, Platinum put several of the buildings up for sale. One of those buildings was at 5258-5260 Anna Ave. in the Old Town area. The U-T has used it as a distribution center. Now it has been sold to an affiliate of San Diego-based Westcore Properties for $5 million. Platinum had paid $6.5 million for the building. It is valued on the tax rolls at $7 million. The commercial real estate market is exceedingly weak in the nation and San Diego. Matt Potter of the Reader checked out the building. It is still being used by the newspaper's pre-print department. Westcore plans to put it up for sale.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Jan. 9, 2010 @ 12:07 p.m.

$5 million seems very high for an industrial building in this market-although the location is very good.

How many SQ FT was it-do you know?? And how big was the lot......two key issues.

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Don Bauder Jan. 9, 2010 @ 4:05 p.m.

Response to post #1: It's 72,205 square feet. Don't know the size of the lot. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Jan. 9, 2010 @ 4:30 p.m.

Regardless of the building's size, the loss by Platinum is gratifying. It could not have happened to a more deserving or nicer bunch of b____ds. Let's now see what good things they can do for themselves and for San Diego with the U-T. It will be a near-miracle if they don't just run it into the ground.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 9, 2010 @ 5:57 p.m.

Let's now see what good things they can do for themselves and for San Diego with the U-T. It will be a near-miracle if they don't just run it into the ground.

I like the redesigned website, and I think the product is improving (face it though, the only way it could go is up).

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Burwell Jan. 9, 2010 @ 9:46 p.m.

Platinum is going to erect a Circus tent in the parking lot of U-T headquarters in Mission Valley to house the pre-distribution center.

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Don Bauder Jan. 9, 2010 @ 10:58 p.m.

Response to post #3: Obviously, their intention all along was to flip the buildings they got for the fat discounts. On their first try, they took a loss. The others are still on the market. I don't know if they have rented out floors of the U-T. (They intend to rent three and have the staff in two floors.) The commercial renting market is quite weak, as is the sales market, as Platinum is finding out. Their normal holding period of an asset is three to five years, although in some cases they hold on longer. Newspapers have made a bit of a recovery of late; I don't know if the U-T has. No matter what progress newspapers -- particularly metro dailies -- are making, their operational model is outdated. Period. End of story. I think it would be difficult finding a buyer three to five years down the road, but it's too soon to draw conclusions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 9, 2010 @ 11 p.m.

Response to post #4: I don't find the new website an improvement, but I'm a Luddite. I think it's a tossup as to whether the paper has improved. It's hard to improve when you cut half the staff. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 9, 2010 @ 11:03 p.m.

Response to post #5: I understand there is plenty of room in the parking lot now. Best, Don Bauder

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HellcatCopley Jan. 15, 2010 @ 9:29 a.m.

When the Anna Ave. site closed, Platinum decided the underground executive parking at the UT could be put to better use: storage. Many high-level gods and goddesses who proudly held these spots for years (including la Winner) were forced to hoof it in from the main lot with the lowlifes. Parking in the employee lot was a disaster for years because the UT had outgrown the plant decades earlier. Since the layoffs parking has been a dream -- maybe every cloud does have a silver lining.

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Don Bauder Jan. 15, 2010 @ 12:51 p.m.

Response to post #9: I hate to admit it, but I parked in the underground executive parking area. That's because I was on the management payroll, although I was hardly a management insider. Indeed, I was about as far outside the management's inside group as one could get. You're right: parking was so crowded in the main lot that often employees had to drive a distance to find a spot, such as in Fashion Valley. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Jan. 16, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

It may not be legal to convert underground parking to storage space. Buildings are zoned for specific numbers of parking spaces, and converting parking spaces to storage may require City approval.

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Don Bauder Jan. 16, 2010 @ 12:54 p.m.

Response to post #11: I doubt they would have done that without checking the legality. Best, Don Bauder

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