By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor
Just last week, it was announced that the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News will be moving to a new location, yet to be determined, in Downtown Detroit sometime in the next 12-18 months.
It was a shock to many as the Detroit News building has been a beacon of journalism for the past 96 years. Originally designed by Albert Kahn, architect of many famous Detroit buildings, it was opened in 1917 and has housed the Free Press since 1998.
Before coming into the News building, the Free Press was housed just a couple of blocks away in their Albert Kahn designed Detroit Free Press Building. It still sits abandoned to this day despite recent rumors of a possible sale.
The Detroit Media Partnership (DMP), which operates as an umbrella organization overseeing all business operations for both the News and Free Press. The plan is to move out within the next year and even if they don’t have a buyer for the building, along with the adjacent parking structure and lots.
According to their press release, they plan on staying in Detroit, preferably Downtown Detroit or Midtown, but other areas are being looked at.
The DMP employs over 1,500 people, 600 of which work downtown. This news came as a shock to many. The reasoning for the move is meant to downsize and find a more formidable space for both papers with the digital age now being very important to journalism.
Many of the rooms that reporters work in today are converted from old newsrooms and printing press areas. All of the printing is done at the Sterling Heights Printing Plant.
So now the speculation begins on to where the DMP will move. In the past year, Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, has brought up numerous properties in Downtown Detroit.
He owns nearly everything surrounding Campus Martius Park, and buildings and parking structures in every direction from CMP.
So what exactly does Gilbert own at this point? Well, along with his headquarters in the Compuware Building, he also owns the Qube (formerly known as the Chase Building), First National Building, Chrysler House (formerly known as the Dime Building), and One Woodward Ave., just to name a few of the buildings he owns.
He’s currently working on deal to buy 1001 Woodward Ave., known as Galaxie Solutions Building that features the “Outscore to Detroit” sign.
At this point, it’s safe to say Downtown Detroit could be a magical place to be in the next 10 years or so. Detroit is going to have a light rail (trolley) line from the river all the way up Woodward to New Center, privately funded by Gilbert and many other executives.
But where will the DMP end up? That will be up for speculation for the next year or so as they begin to look for places to move to or heck, even build, although that will probably be out of the question. The best bet is that the DMP will end up somewhere around Campus Martius Park in a Gilbert owned building. Don’t be surprised to see 1001 Woodward the new home for DMP. It’s a modern skyscraper built in the 1960s that is 25-stories tall and has 290,000 square feet of space.
If they don’t end up there, expect something still modern, ground-floor, or a couple of floors near or around Campus Martius Park if they decide to stay in Downtown Detroit. It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the Albert Kahn News Building, but it’s good for the future of journalism in the city of Detroit.