Post Bulletin building (copy)

The Post Bulletin building at 18 First Avenue S.E. has been sold. The 100,000-square-foot complex had housed the newspaper's operations for 63 years. Sale price was $10.5 million.

The downtown complex that has housed the Post Bulletin's newspaper operations for 63 years was sold for $10.5 million on Thursday.

The cavernous 100,000-square-foot complex at 18 First Ave. SE was sold by the Illinois-based Small Newspaper Group, the Post Bulletin's former owner.

SNG originally listed the property for sale in November 2018 for $22 million. SNG released a brief statement confirming the sale, but did not comment on the sale price.

Olmsted County estimated the total market value of the property at $5.58 million for 2018-2019. 

PB Rochester Investments LLC, a firm incorporated in Rochester on Sept. 3, purchased the building. PB Rochester Investments lists its office address as Suite 400, 30 Third Street SE in Rochester in care of attorney Daniel E. Berndt in its incorporation documents. That's the law office of Dunlap & Seeger, where Berndt works.

No public documents list the individual or individuals that own PB Rochester Investments. The primary people involved in the real estate deal were required to sign non-disclosure agreements to hide the identity of the buyer.

It is unknown what the future plans are for the building, though its age and prime downtown location across from the Mayo Civic Center point to the probability that it will eventually be demolished and redeveloped.

Rochester Realtor Merl Groteboer, of ReMax Results, represented both the buyer and seller in the deal. The sale did not include newspaper's press, which the Post Bulletin stopped using earlier this year following the sale of the newspaper to Fargo, N.D.-based Forum Communications Co.

The Post Bulletin's 60 news and advertising employees are slated to move out of the downtown complex to the second floor of the Think Bank building at 1698 Greenview Dr. SW, possibly as soon as mid-October.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 285-7798.

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