Offer made on Steamboat Pilot & Today building
September 21, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Someone has reportedly made an offer to buy the Steamboat Pilot & Today building on the west side of the city, and it isn't the city of Steamboat Springs.
The city was in the process of working with an architect to evaluate the newspaper's headquarters as a potential place for city offices when City Manager Gary Suiter was informed this week someone else had made an offer to buy the building from the newspaper's former owners.
Cam Boyd, the real estate agent who has been trying to sell the building, said Thursday he couldn't disclose who the potential buyer is at this time.
"I believe the owners will probably move forward with the offer and try to strike some sort of agreement," Boyd said.
Boyd's prediction came after the City Council made it clear Tuesday they had no counter offer at this time.
The council also passed on an idea to possibly lease the newspaper building for a decade at a market rate.
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"I'd be really bummed if we lost this opportunity to buy it, but I don't see a long-term lease," councilwoman Lisel Petis said.
Some council members said they were frustrated by the city's process of evaluating the newspaper building as a potential location to house city employees.
"I don't get why it's taken all this time," councilwoman Robin Crossan said.
Suiter defended the months-long vetting process.
"For a $5 million investment, we wanted to make sure it would accommodate our needs," Suiter said.
Council President Walter Magill criticized the city's handling of a space needs analysis that initially recommended the city not pursue the building.
Some council members earlier this month said they didn't think the analysis, which included interviews with city employees who said they wanted to stay downtown, was adequate.
"It didn't get done correctly and now we're waiting for it to get done correctly," Magill said of the space needs study.
City officials toured the newspaper building at the intersection of Elk River Road and U.S. Highway 40 in April.
They walked away thinking the large commercial property might be work pursuing for city facilities.
"If I had to gauge the level of interest from 1 to 10, personally I'd put it at a 6 or a 7," Suiter said at the time. "The pros kind of outweigh the cons."
Worldwest LLC, the former owner of the newspaper, has been trying to sell the 23,222-square-foot building and 1.5 acres of nearby land along U.S. 40 for $5.5 million.
The newspaper’s new owner, Swift Communications, is currently leasing the building while it searches for a new home for the paper in Steamboat.
Steamboat Today does not have a future financial interest in the building.
Printing operations were moved from the current newspaper building to Gypsum last year, leaving 12,542 square feet of warehouse space largely unused.
The building includes 10,680 square feet of office space.