A regional daily’s office is being put up for sale after its owner deemed the building to be “not up-to-scratch.”
Johnston Press says it is considering the sale of the York Street home of Sheffield daily The Star, although it could opt to refurbish it instead.
York Street, pictured below, is one of JP’s largest offices and houses around 400 staff at present.
In a memo to staff, which has been seen by HTFP, company chief executive Ashley Highfield confirmed the building is being put on the market to “test the water” for a potential sale.
He said: “We are keen to ensure that all of our teams work in surroundings that are comfortable and fit-for-purpose and know that York Street – one of our largest properties (housing some 400 of our team members) – is not up-to-scratch.
“So, we are looking at two options aimed at ensuring you work in an appropriate, modern office environment. We are currently doing a detailed evaluation of the investment required to completely refurbish York Street. The second option is to relocate to new office accommodation within Sheffield.
“In order to ascertain the feasibility of moving to new premises, we need to establish how easy it would be to sell the York Street property. To test the water we will be putting the building on the market and you are likely to see some marketing activity in the coming weeks.
“I want to stress that no firm decisions have been made yet, we are simply putting out the feelers at this stage.”
Ashley added that he expected the evaluation process to take between two to three months and a decision would be made once “armed with all the facts.”
He said that during this period, some temporary fixes would be implemented to address cooling/heating issues in the building.
Johnston Press launched a major programme of office sales in 2013 with the aim of raising around £8m.
Since then it has concluded a number of major sell-offs including the site of the former Peterborough Telegraph print works – now a housing estate – the former Northampton Chronicle and Echo building in Upper Mounts – now an Aldi superstore – and the former Yorkshire Post building in Leeds, which is being redeveloped as offices, shops and housing.