IRG, Gannett Co. Ink Multi-Property Sale-Leaseback Deal

The transaction involves five printing facilities in three states.
Gannett Co. printing facility in Columbus, Ohio
Gannett Co. printing facility in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of Industrial Realty Group

Industrial Realty Group LLC, of Los Angeles, has acquired five Gannett Co. Inc. printing facilities in Ohio, Indiana and Florida.


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Gannett will lease back a significant portion of the facilities for ongoing operations, leaving IRG free to redevelop the remaining space for other uses and tenants.

The properties are in Columbus and Wooster, Ohio; Indianapolis and Fishers, Ind.; and Ocala, Fla., an IRG spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive.

According to a prepared statement by Stuart Lichter, president of IRG, the acquisitions align well with the company’s core business strategy, which focuses on investing into communities by purchasing and stabilizing industrial assets.

Gannett Co. printing facility in Columbus, Ohio
Gannett Co. printing facility in Columbus, Ohio. Image courtesy of Industrial Realty Group

The five buildings total 799,233 square feet, and Gannett will lease portions of each one for varying terms. IRG plans to redevelop the remaining square footage and market it as warehouse and distribution space, which continues to be in high demand.

The redevelopment plans will involve creative renovations to expand some buildings and reconfigure other unusable space, according to Lichter.

Hot for the presses

IRG stated that it’s also under contract to purchase a 75,000-square-foot Gannett facility in California.

The sale-leaseback recalls a deal that was announced around Thanksgiving, in which Phoenix Investors, of Milwaukee, bought a former printing plant in Lynchburg, Va. The seller was LSC Communications Printing Co., which had been spun off by printing giant RR Donnelly in 2016, but later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Among other features, the 760,000-square-foot Lynchburg property has two interior rail spurs with the capacity for six rail cars. Phoenix reportedly plans to renovate the property before seeking distribution or manufacturing tenants, as well as potentially developing build-to-suit space on unused portions of the 50-acre site.

Phoenix further stated that it intends to buy another LSC plant, in Mattoon, Ill., as well as possibly other shuttered LSC facilities around the U.S.