At a meeting with the Los Angeles Timesstaff, the paper’s soon-to-be owner Patrick Soon-Shiong announced that the paper would be leaving its longtime Downtown home and moving west—far west, into a spot in El Segundo.
The Los Angeles Times reports the paper’s new home is under construction now. When complete, it will sit on about 4.5 acres and include an eight-story, 120,000-square-fot building. Event space, storefronts, and a “museum gallery of The Times’ 136-year history” would fill out the building’s first floor.
The move to El Segundo, first reported to be temporary, will be permanent. “We need to build a campus that is there for the next 100 years, not to lease a building,” Soon-Shiong told Times staffers.
Staff writer Carolina Miranda, tweeting from the meeting, says the decision to leave the paper’s Civic Center location came after the newspaper and Onni, the Canadian developer that owns the building, couldn’t agree on terms for a new lease.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Onni had asked the Times for a “$1-million-a-month rent increase.”
Such a move will likely cause a stir in the newsroom. In January, the paper’s union organizing committee argued strongly against a rumored move to Playa Vista orchestrated by the paper’s then-owner, Tronc.
The committee noted that not only would such a move limit the paper’s ability to cover local government, which is based in Downtown, but it would also dramatically increase reporters’ commute times.
Walked back into newsroom after Patrick Soon-Shiong announces @latimes will move to El Segundo — and everyone has Google Maps open on their screens, calculating new commute times.
— Kimi Yoshino (@kyoshino) April 13, 2018
1st, this is big news, even if move is temporary. El Segundo isn’t just a long way from downtown LA. It’s on the wrong side of the 405—the iron curtain/Berlin Wall of traffic separating east from west in LA—for the many LAT staffers who live E of La Brea https://t.co/Rdpwc1WF2G
— Christopher Hawthorne (@HawthorneCDOLA) April 13, 2018
It’s also possible the paper could rent up some space at its former Olympic printing plant for reporters who need to be close to Downtown. The 26-acre property between the southern tip of the Arts District and the 10 Freeway sold to Harridge Development Group for $120 million in 2016.
Last year, Onni announced plans to redevelop much of the site, adding two residential towers and refurbishing the Moderne Los Angeles Times building constructed in 1935.
There is no word on when the move is scheduled to happen, but it might be soon: The lease in Downtown’s Times Mirror Square was originally due to expire in June.