The historic and enormous 58,160 square foot Utica Observer Dispatch building is being auctioned off as we speak, according to an online real estate notice.
The auction, being managed by Bellcornerstone Real Estate in Manlius, listed the starting bid at $150,000 and by Tuesday night, the bid had reached $310,000. The auction is open for bids now through Thursday, January 20, at 12 noon. The building was initially being sold for $350,000, but no final offers were made.
The property is a Class B office/industrial building located at 221 Oriskany Street in Utica, New York. The property offers a great owner-operator opportunity or value-add through lease-up at market rates or the potential for redevelopment.
The asset is a 58,160-SF vacant former Utica Observer office/industrial manufacturing building in Utica, NY. Property benefits from its location off Oriskany Street which sees over 20,000 vehicles per day. Class B office property with ample parking located in the heart of Utica, NY. Property benefits from its location off Oriskany Street which sees over 20,000 vehicles per day.
Staff size at the OD has been cut significantly over the last several years, especially since the $1.1 billion acquisition of Gannett by Gatehouse Media in 2019. Utica's newspaper printing press was also shut down in 2011 and printing shifted from Utica to Binghamton. Since 2014, the newspaper has been printed in Syracuse. Recently, the OD announced it would no longer print a Saturday edition of the paper. Something that had been done since the 1800s. Several other Gannett papers around the country also ceased Saturday printing.
The OD real estate listing states that the building is vacant, which means whoever wins the auction, will be acquiring an empty building and property with no tenants.
According to history compiled by Frank Tomaino for the OD, the newspaper Utica Observer originally built their 2-story building in 1914 on Catherine Street in the city, which is the back side of the OD currently. In 1922, the Observer merged with the Utica Herald Dispatch and it became the Observer Dispatch. In 1926, the canal running through Utica was abandoned, and the city decided to create a new east-west thoroughfare called Oriskany Street. It was around that time that the OD decided to move its front entrance from Catherine Street to Oriskany Street and by 1930, the 3-story front entrance that we know today as the Observer Dispatch building was completed. An addition and expansion to the building was completed in 1970.
Interested bidders with questions can contact Bell Cornerstone at 844-274-4549 or by visiting the listing page.
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