The former headquarters of The Times-Picayune on Howard Avenue has been sold to a group of investors led by New Orleans developer Joe Jaeger for $3.5 million.
Jaeger's group 3800 Howard Investors LLC also includes partners Barry Kern of Mardi Gras World, real estate developer Arnold Kirschman and local businessman Michael White. The deal was recorded in Orleans Parish land records on Friday (Sept. 2).
The 48-year-old former newspaper facility at 3800 Howard Ave. has been vacant since January, when The Times-Picayune shifted printing of the newspaper to Mobile, Ala., and relocated staff to The Times-Picayune's former East Jefferson bureau in Metairie. That renovated facility now houses the Advance Media Southeast Print Lab, a regional hub for designing, copy editing and producing pages for Advance Local newspapers in New Orleans, Alabama and, beginning in October, Portland, Ore.
In a written statement, the new owners said the group has no specific plans for the Howard Avenue property "but sees this as a chance to reinvest in the growing New Orleans economy."
"The prime location of the property and the resurgence of the neighborhoods surrounding the Central Business District make this an attractive opportunity for redevelopment," the group said.
Jaeger, whose company is The MCC Group, has a history of scooping up high-profile vacant properties. He bought two of the city's largest unused buildings -- the 45-story Plaza Tower on Howard Avenue downtown in 2014 and the shuttered Market Street power plant on the riverfront last year.
Jaeger is also part of a team pursuing a deal with the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to lead a $1 billion development on 47 acres of vacant riverfront land near the power plant.
The Howard Avenue building opened in 1968 as a home for The Times-Picayune and States-Item newspapers after being bought by the Newhouse family's Advance Publications company. The newspapers later merged in 1980.
News, sales and marketing staff for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune moved to One Canal Place downtown in 2013. Additional staff are based at hubs on the North Shore and in Baton Rouge.