Pioneer Press sells downtown headquarters to apartment developer

Pioneer Press sells downtown headquarters to apartment developer

June 12, 2015
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The Pioneer Press on Friday sold its downtown St. Paul headquarters to a South Dakota real estate developer who plans to convert the building into an apartment complex.

The newspaper is planning to relocate to a newer, nearby facility in St. Paul and expects to release the details of that plan next week, according to a company statement. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. It had been listed at $4.2 million.

Nate Stencil, CEO of the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Stencil Group, which bought the Pioneer Press building, expects the eight-story, 162,000-square-foot structure to accommodate 150 to 168 market-rate apartment units.

He said his company was attracted to its downtown location on the Green Line light rail and the skyway systems, as well as its open floor plates.

“It’s a fairly clean and attractive opportunity for a conversion,” Stencil said. “From a demolition standpoint, there aren’t a lot of interior walls.”

The sale of the Pioneer Press headquarters at 345 Cedar Street comes two weeks after the sale of its former printing plant on St. Paul’s West Side.

Newspaper production was contracted to the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune last year.

The Pioneer Press has operated out of 345 Cedar St. since October 1984. The newspaper bought the office building in 1983 for $6 million and spent an additional $5.6 million renovating it. It was built in 1955 by Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Co., now Securian.

Stencil expects to begin construction around Jan. 1 and open the building to tenants in late summer or early fall of 2016.

This will be the Stencil Group’s first housing development in the Twin Cities.