Garrett Harris 4 p.m., June 19
U-T Seeking to Rent Part of Headquarters Space
The Union-Tribune has sent a memo to its staff, saying that it is looking into renting out space in its building. Some potential renters have already looked at the fourth and fifth floor, say the new owners, Platinum Equity. (The fourth floor houses the library, photo lab, and photo library, which could be difficult to move. The fifth has the cafeteria along with executive offices.) "With the reduction in staff over the past few years, clearly there is unutilized office space" at headquarters, says the memo. According to a June 24 story in Forbes.com, U-T employment, once 1,422, will soon be down to 572. The newspaper is "cratering," one source tells Forbes. Platinum Equity got the Mission Valley building for roughly 60% under assessed valuation. I have thought all along Platinum intends to vacate and sell the building for a good profit when the market turns (or to a speculator before the commercial real estate market turns). I still believe that is the strategy, but renting out space in the interim would make sense, although the building was constructed as a one-company, one-purpose structure.