It's official. The Observer-Dispatch building on Oriskany Street in Utica has sold.

Bidding came to a close on Thursday and after the dust had settled, the large 58,160 square foot piece of Utica history sold for $660,000, well over the most recent asking price of $350,000.

Upon the closing of the auction, Bellcornerstone Real Estate in Manlius, listed it on their website as closed, and announced that the winning bidder would be announced upon request, once the escrow has closed.

"This property is in escrow. Once escrow has been closed, the auction details will be made available upon request," - website.

This means that the new owner, might not be announced for 30 to 60 days, however, an escrow closing is ideally complete within a month, unless there's a different agreement between the buyer and seller.

Earlier in the week, the bid had reached $310,000 and additional bids were being accepted at $50,000 increments. The auction closed on Thursday, January 20, at 12 noon.

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.

The OD real estate listing stated that the building is vacant, which means the new owner, will be acquiring an empty building and property with no tenants. It's not known where the new OD offices will be located.

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.

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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.

More information on the auction can be obtained by Bell Cornerstone at 844-274-4549 or by visiting the listing page.

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