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EDISON, NJ-The New York Times has simultaneously bought and sold its mammoth 1.4-million-sf printing and warehouse facilities and an adjacent development parcel here, altogether totaling 86 acres. The moves are tied to a plan by the company to consolidate its printing operations at a newer facility in College Point, Queens, NY. The ultimate owner of the facility here is an affiliate of the New York City-based KTR Capital Partners.

The Times had reportedly been ready to sublease the local complex through 2018. But after doing the math, company officials decided it would be less costly to buy the property and concurrently re-sell it rather than absorb what are said to be above-market rental terms only partially offset by sublease rents. The company would also have had to absorb the costs of restoring the sublet buildings to their original state, as contractually required by its original lease.

As it is, the Times estimates that its total costs for vacating the local plant will be in the $152-million to $169-million range. In a regulatory filing in March, the company indicated that it would buy the facility from a local investment group for $140 million and then resell it to Keystone Industrial Fund LP, the KTR affiliate, for $92 million. The company indicated in the filing that it expected to record a net loss of between $65 million to $72 million related to the purchase and sale, and a loss of $70 million to $75 million for accelerated depreciation expense.

The Times will be on-site for a bit longer. At the time of closing, the company signed two market-rate leases with the new owner, one for the one-million-sf printing plant that runs through the end of 2008, with a termination right that begins on June 1, 2008. During that period, the Times plans to strip the equipment from the building and complete its consolidation in Queens. The second lease covers the adjacent 400,000-sf warehouse building and runs for five years with a five-year option.

Once the Times leaves the larger building, the new owner plans to redevelop it. “This is a very unique value-add opportunity,” says John DiCola, a principal of KTR Capital Partners, a three-year-old firm formed by former executives of Keystone Property Trust after that company’s acquisition by ProLogis. “It’s not often that you get the chance to acquire a well-located, high-profile property in the heart of one of the best industrial markets in the country.

“With direct frontage and access to the New Jersey Turnpike [Exit 10], the building will appeal to larger tenants that desire a central location, above-average clear heights, large power capacity, great loading and rail access,” DiCola says. “In addition, the 25-acre land parcel, which is zoned for multiple property uses including industrial, office, retail and hotel, is one of the best development sites in New Jersey. When the land is combined with the existing buildings, including a stabilized income-producing asset, we believe there is tremendous value to be created.”

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