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Times-Journal offers its buildings for sale

The Selma Times-Journal is putting its Water Avenue buildings at 1014, 1016 and 1018 for sale. It has contracted with BellCornerstone, a nationwide commercial real estate firm that currently is specializing in marketing newspaper facilities that no longer need major on-site production square footage. That is due to current typesetting and pagination by computers and printing in centralized regional printing plants.

This decision comes after moving Times-Journal printing to a regional printing plant in Clanton owned by Tuscaloosa-based Boone Newspapers, Inc., owner of The Times-Journal. BellCornerstone has good connections to regional and national real estate investors and has worked with media companies on down-sizing real estate holdings. Currently, they are working with Gannett, a major national media company with holdings in Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.

“When the pandemic set in last year and affected retailing and business in general, we sought efficiencies to reduce costs while meeting our community commitments,” said Times-Journal Publisher Dennis Palmer. “The move to consolidate printing to our central Alabama site left us with several very large and unneeded buildings that encompass 16,000 square feet.”

Palmer said the newspaper wants to stay downtown. That might come in an opportunity to lease in its current location from the new owner or elsewhere in area. He also said The Times-Journal will continue on its current print and E-Edition schedule and plans no other operational changes.

“Downtown is the heart of Selma and we certainly want to keep our newspaper here for its convenience to our customers and because it is close to all government operations for quick access to meetings and downtown events,” Palmer said. “We will continue to meet our obligations to our community by being the best, most reliable source for news, information about and for Selma and Dallas County and advertising in print, digital and digital services, meeting that obligation through a mix of print and digital reporting and delivery.”

The Times-Journal has operated from its current location since December 1923, when it relocated from the Harmony Club, which is across the street from its current location on Water Ave. Interestingly, the move in 1923 returned the newspaper to the building that housed it in 1881.

“As one of the oldest newspapers in the southeast, The Selma Times-Journal obviously has quite a history and with our community’s support we plan on continuing to serve Selma and Dallas County for decades to come,” Palmer said.