BEVERLY — The Salem News is planning to move out of its landmark building to a yet-to-be determined location on the North Shore.
Karen Andreas, regional publisher of North of Boston Media Group, announced the plans Monday in a meeting with employees at The Salem News office on Dunham Road. Andreas said the company intends to sell the building and lease a smaller location.
“Companies move all the time and this is the right move for The Salem News,” she said. “The space we’re in right now is too big for us.”
The Salem News has been located on Dunham Road since merging with The Beverly Times in 1995. The company moved its printing operations out of Beverly years ago and consolidated several other functions — such as advertising design, page layout, and finance — at The Eagle-Tribune office in North Andover. Because of those operational efficiencies, the number of people working in the Beverly office has gone from about 150 to 35, Andreas said.
She said The Salem News needs only 7,000 to 8,000 square feet to accommodate the newsroom staff and the local advertising and circulation departments. The current building is 68,000 square feet and includes two large empty warehouse spaces and more than 100 parking spots.
Andreas said the newspaper will most likely look to lease space in either Salem, Beverly, Peabody or Danvers, its four largest readership communities. She’s hoping the move can be made by the end of the summer.
Andreas said The Salem News is doing well financially and will continue to maintain its strong presence on the North Shore. The newspaper is part of the North of Boston Media Group, which is owned by Community Newspapers Holding Inc., a subsidiary of Alabama-based Raycom Media.
“The Salem News is alive and well and highly profitable, and always committed to the North Shore and its communities,” she said.
The Dunham Road building was built in 1969 and is on six acres of land, according to city records. The building and property is assessed by the city at $2.4 million.
Daniel Fox of MerryFox Realty, which is handling the sale, said The Salem News building could be used for manufacturing, industrial, storage or office space. Residential uses could be allowed with a special permit or variance from the city, he said.
“It’s such a prime parcel of land, being six acres and close to Route 128,” said Betsy Merry of MerryFox Realty.
Dunham Road has been the site of new office complexes built recently by Cummings Properties. Harmonic Drive LLC, a tech company based in Peabody, is also planning to build a new manufacturing headquarters at 42 Dunham Road. The road is also home to North Shore Music Theatre.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.