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Tampa Bay Times nears deal to sell St. Petersburg printing plant

The industrial site in a dense part of Pinellas County could change hands this summer.
The Tampa Bay Times is nearing a sale of its former printing plant at 1301 34th St. N in St. Petersburg.
The Tampa Bay Times is nearing a sale of its former printing plant at 1301 34th St. N in St. Petersburg. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published May 7
Updated May 8

The Tampa Bay Times is nearing a deal to sell its former printing plant and surrounding property, encompassing about 27 acres just off U.S. 19 in St. Petersburg.

The newspaper received offers from “a number of bidders,” said Conan Gallaty, president of Times Publishing Co.

“We do have a leading contender and are working with them on details of the formal contract,” Gallaty said. “We hope to complete the sale this summer.”

Gallaty did not disclose the potential buyer or price.

Rick Brugge, an executive managing director with the property’s commercial broker, Cushman and Wakefield, said the Times got more than 10 offers.

“We had exceptional investor interest in the property overall,” Brugge said. “The majority of that interest came from industrial investors who liked the existing improvements or the site in general for last-mile, infill industrial (use). Pinellas County’s the most densely populated county in the state of Florida, so a 27-acre site with substantial improvements on it was highly sought after.”

The Times announced in January that it would close the 61-year-old plant at 1301 N 34th St., outsourcing its print operations to a Lakeland facility owned by newspaper chain Gannett. The closure was expected to result in the elimination of 160 jobs, according to a letter filed with the state. The March 7 edition of the Times was the last one printed locally.

Related: The end of an era as Tampa Bay Times plant prints its final papers