Reporting can feel like a game of hide-and-seek sometimes.
On Sept. 12, a generic company called P B Rochester Investments LLC purchased the long-time Post Bulletin building in downtown Rochester for $10.5 million.It was sold by Illinois-based Small Newspaper Group, the Post Bulletin's former owner.
The person or persons behind the Rochester-based PB Rochester Investments LLC have gone to great lengths to obscure their identity or identities. The firm is based in the Dunlap & Seeger law office with Rochester attorney Hilary R. Stonelake-Curtis as the acting president of PB Rochester Investments.
People directly involved in the real estate deal all were required to sign Nondisclosure Agreements to keep to the details private.
All of that said, there are certainly rumors about who is behind the purchase. The list of potential Rochester investors who would have the interest and wherewithal to buy a 100,000-square-foot complex in the heart of downtown for $10.5 million is not a long one.
One unconfirmed name that keeps being mentioned is Rochester developer, real estate investor and car collector Dan Penz.
Penz has traditionally kept his business dealings quiet. He rarely talks to the media about deals. Penz does work with the Realtor and attorney who handled the PB sale, though many others work with the the duo of Merl Groteboer and Dan Berndt.
I did come across something involving the incorporation of a firm related to PB Rochester Investments. This other firm was formed on March 19 as DP PB LLC, but the name was changed on Aug. 26 to PB Rochester.
Of course, PB Rochester Investments purchased the building at 18 First Avenue S.E., so this could be unrelated. And, of course, just because DP matchs the intitials of Dan Penz, that doesn't absolutely confirm as the buyer.
However, all of this added together certainly starts to point in Penz's direction.
On a related note, documents for the real estate sale show that Premier Bank Rochester was involved in the deal by lending PB Rochester Investments $5.25 million in the form of a promissory note.
Meanwhile, 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 this weekend or early next week, depending on Rochester building inspections.