Quebecor, the company that owns the Toronto Sun, has sold the building at 333 King Street East that houses the media operation. It has been bought by First Gulf, the retail arm of Great Gulf Homes. The building occupies most of the block bounded by King, Princess, Front and Berkeley. The site contains office usage along King and a now closed printing plant along the Front Street frontage. First Gulf has launched a website for the project.
Word about this has been circulating for a while. According to the torontosunfamily blog back on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 "333 sale changes. The sale price and identity of the new owners of the Toronto Sun building have not been released, but employees learned yesterday how "massive changes" will affect their working lives. Rob Granatstein, editorial page editor, sent a mass e-mail to editorial employees updating last week's announcement by publisher Mike Power that 333 King Street East has been sold. In a nutshell, the newsroom will be moved to tighter quarters on the second floor, where it will share space with executive, accounting and advertising; Red's cafeteria, named for Doug Creighton, will be closed; free parking for employees will be drastically reduced.
Rob's e-mail reads: "Staff, It’s come to my attention that many people aren’t aware of the announcement made last week by Sun Publisher Mike Power that our building has been sold. Here’s the grossly abbreviated summary.
* The Sun has sold the building.
* The buyer’s name has not been released yet as there are still conditions attached to the sale of the deal.
* The Toronto Sun is not moving. We’ve signed a 10-year lease to stay in the building.
* There will be massive changes now that we’re becoming a tenant. * First, all Sun operations – executive, accounting, advertising - will join us on the second floor.
* The newsroom will be moving. The exact location isn’t clear, but we expect to move to the north side of the building.
* The newsroom will be the first to move. A new digital newsroom, likely costing well into the millions of dollars, will be built for us, including new furniture. Say goodbye to the ’80s-era desk you have now.
* The physical space of the newsroom will be far smaller than the footprint we have in the building now. * The newsroom’s move will be done by the end of March, according to the schedule we have now.
* As a tenant we won’t have the same access to parking. We will have some spots, but not all the spots.
* The cafeteria will be closed.
* The presses will be removed.
* The library is staying where it is.
* Retail shops will likely move into the main floor on King St.
* Commercial offices will move into the building, too.
* Expect the building to become a huge construction site as the new owners change 333 King from a one tenant newspaper building into a building for many other uses.
* A sale price for the building has not been released.
Rob." We never thought the day would come when the Toronto Sun would be a tenant at 333, downsized from six full floors to one floor, with no presses, no cafeteria and minimal parking."
According to a more recent post Re the sale of 333: The Toronto Star has quoted sources saying the new owner of the 34-year-old newspaper building "is likely Toronto developer First Gulf, a division of the company that recently purchased the 1 Bloor condominium site in Toronto." With the sale of 333 and the Sun becoming a tenant in the building it built in 1975, what becomes of the Andy Donato mural on the wall of Red's cafeteria and John and Alexandra Hood's 180-foot-wide commissioned outdoor mural unveiled in 1993? So the Toronto Sun will be consolidated on the second floor. Retail will be added along King and old Toronto Sun office uses will be repurposed for new clients.
What about the old printing press along Front? The rumour is a new Loblaws. "333 Loblaws? An anonymous TSF reader says the first floor of the recently sold Toronto Sun building will become a Loblaws store later this year. Everything from soup to nuts . . . TorSun/Canoe staffers huddled in a rented corner of the second floor wouldn't have far to go for soups, salads and bottled water. Makes us wonder how the remainder of 333, built in 1975 by the then independent tabloid, will be carved up by the new owner. An employment agency on the sixth floor, where all of the Sun execs used to work their magic, would be convenient."
|Related Companies:||Colliers International, Diamond Schmitt Architects, First Gulf, Ketchum, Pellow + Associates Architects, Terraplan/Studio TLA, Urban Strategies Inc., WZMH Architects|