Owners set to sell Jacksonville newspaper, keep waterfront site

Family-run Morris Communications Co. agreed to sell the Florida Times-Union to Gatehouse Media

The Florida Times-Union building in Jacksonville.
The Florida Times-Union building in Jacksonville.

A family that agreed to sell a daily newspaper in Jacksonville would retain the publishing company’s waterfront property downtown.

Family-controlled Morris Communications Co. this week announced a deal to sell the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and 10 other daily newspapers to Gatehouse Media. The sale is expected to close Oct. 2.

Under terms of the deal, the Morris family would retain a building bearing the name of the Times-Union plus 18 acres of property in downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River.

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The Times-Union reported that the Morris family is exploring the potential for developing the riverfront site for a mix of uses, including a hotel, multifamily housing and office space.

Last year, commercial property brokerage CBRE had a listing for the 18-acre Times-Union site at 1 Riverside Avenue, without an asking price.

Gatehouse Media, a division of publicly held New Media Investment Group, owns more than 130 daily newspapers and 500-plus non-daily publications.

Besides buying the Florida Times-Union from Morris Communications, Gatehouse would buy another Florida newspaper, the St. Augustine Record, along with papers in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, South Carolina and Texas. [Florida Times-Union] Mike Seemuth