1075 Central Ave.
NAPLES — The former Daily News property in downtown Naples might be off the market soon.
The 1075 Central Ave. property is under contract, said Tim Stautberg, chief financial officer for The E.W. Scripps Co., which owns the Daily News.
However, Stautberg said he couldn’t disclose the name of the prospective buyer or the selling price.
The 10-acre property and 87,500-square-foot building were listed at $13 million.
However, Scripps has contracted Gates McVey Builders to demolish the building. Pending permit approval, the company hopes to have the demolition completed this summer.
The property recently had a fence erected on it.
The demolition puts the property “one step closer to redevelopment,” Stautberg said.
“Clearly we wouldn’t be going ahead and demolishing the property unless the prospective buyer was amenable to that as well,” he said.
Scripps will pay for the costs of the demolition and the old press will be sold for scrap value.
The Realtor for the property is Welsh Companies Florida Inc. The property has “Downtown” zoning, which gives it flexibility for high density residential, commercial or industrial development.
“Without that zoning it would be a little tough to be where we are,” said Jim Doane, vice president of Welsh Companies.
Public records obtained by the Daily News show that local development consultant, Planning Development Incorporated, is involved in the contract.
“Our firm has been retained to file certain applications with the City of Naples. The proposed land uses are still being explored,” said Michael Fernandez, president of Planning Development Incorporated.
Fernandez would not comment on who the prospective buyer is, but said the land will likely be a mixed-used development. His firm plans to submit site plans in the first week of July, Fernandez said.
Doane said the prospective buyer had “the best concept that was pitched.”
“It’s not just a matter of pricing, it’s a matter of confidence that the seller has in the buyer and their concept,” he said.
The former Daily News property was previously under contract with Naples-based Antaramian Development Group, but the developer backed out of the deal.
Since August, the Daily News has been in its new 186,000-square-foot building at 1100 Immokalee Road.
The media company has been in Naples since 1947 and moved to the Central Avenue location in 1969. The Central Avenue building was expanded from 20,000 square feet to 40,000 in 1980 and again doubled in size in 1990.
The company decided to build a new headquarters when the city’s building height restrictions wouldn’t allow for the expansion needed to accommodate a modern printing press.