South Lake Union’s construction boom is prompting KING 5’s owner to explore selling its Dexter Avenue headquarters and relocating the broadcast operation.
The station’s building at 333 Dexter Ave. and land nearby are for sale, Ray Heacox, the station’s general manager, said Friday.
“We have been in this building for a long time, but it’s a very large building compared to the size of our operation,” Heacox said in an interview. “As the value of the property in South Lake Union has escalated, we of course are looking at the marketplace.”
Heacox said about 300 people work in the building, down from more than 500 back when it was the corporate headquarters for King Broadcasting. The company was sold in the 1990s to Belo, and KING 5 now is owned by Gannett, a media conglomerate.
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Dexter Avenue is on the western edge of the South Lake Union neighborhood, which is being transformed by Amazon.com’s growth in the area. Buildings have been razed and tenants have moved in order to make way for the Internet behemoth’s thousands of employees and for growth by other employers in the newly popular neighborhood.
Two years ago The Seattle Times Co., another media company with a lengthy presence in the area, sold and vacated a building it had occupied for decades and moved its headquarters across the street. The leased space it moved into was also formerly owned by the newspaper.
Heacox said a final decision hasn’t been made on the KING 5 move, and that the timing is unclear. There’s still not an offer on the table, he said. But if a move does occur, the station and its newsroom are likely to stay close to the center of Seattle, he added.
News of the move first surfaced on the blog run by prominent media blogger Jim Romenesko. In an email to staffers, KING 5 news director Mark Ginther wrote that he expected an “aggressive” move-out schedule.
“My guess would be a move into a different facility in early 2015,” Ginther wrote.
Ángel González: 206-464-2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle