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Roanoke Times to relocate office within downtown

Roanoke Times to relocate office within downtown

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The Roanoke Times will be relocating its offices to a suite within the Commonwealth Building, located at 220 Church Ave. S.W., after renovations are completed in 2022. The building is located just south of the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building. Greene Memorial United Methodist Church is in the background.

After 107 years at 201 Campbell Ave. S.W., The Roanoke Times will move its offices from the north to the south side of city hall, continuing a 135-year tradition of operating downtown.

Regional President Samuel Worthington announced Tuesday the newspaper will be moving its offices into the Commonwealth Building, located at 220 Church Ave. S.W.

“Our new location will retain our commitment to downtown Roanoke but will be in a more modern space that reflects our digital newsgathering path forward,” Worthington said.

The newspaper will be vacating its historic home this winter, as the city of Roanoke purchased the building, and a newspaper distribution center at 207 Salem Ave., from BH Media Group Inc. in October for $5.85 million. The last day in the offices for most employees will be Nov. 26.

The newsroom, advertising and circulation departments will continue to publish and operate virtually while the new leased space is being prepared. The newspaper is printed in Lynchburg at The News & Advance.

BH Media sold The Roanoke Times to Lee Enterprises in March 2020 but retained the building while leasing it to Lee. BH Media will turn the property over to the city in January, approximately one year after the company put the sprawling complex, the oldest part of which dates to 1914, up for sale. The former press building at 120 Salem Ave. S.W. is not included in the sale.

Roanoke City Public Schools’ leadership in May announced a plan to purchase the real estate and convert it into a new central office for the 13,800-plus student school division. The current central office at 40 Douglass Ave. N.W. would be turned into a community center. The plan won approval from Roanoke’s city council.

The newspaper building faces the older, more ornate side of Roanoke’s Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, where the city council meets.

The newspaper’s new location will be opened after renovations are completed in the space within the Commonwealth Building, Roanoke’s former federal government office building, courthouse and main post office, constructed in the early 1930s. It is now privately owned.

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The listing of The Roanoke Times building for sale last week was not a surprise. It reflects an ongoing change in how we as a society consume and sell news, and how private sector companies must adapt to those changes.

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