A building in downtown Ellsworth owned and occupied by a weekly newspaper since at least the 1940s has been put up for sale.
The Ellsworth American newspaper, however, does not plan to go far. It plans to consolidate all of it departments in an adjacent production building it owns at 1 Printing House Square, immediately behind the building it is selling at 30 Water Street. The Printing House Square building is approximately 10,000 square feet and was built in 1995, according to city assessing records.
According to a story in the newspaper, the company’s newsroom, administration, and customer service personnel will move from Water Street into the adjacent building, which currently houses its press and mail rooms and its advertising, design, and digital marketing departments.
The newspaper company leased the 4,800 square-foot building on Water Street in 1946 and then purchased it in 1954, according to records on file at the Hancock County Registry of Deeds. The building was constructed in 1933, according to city records. The Ellsworth American reports it has operated at least in part from that address since the 1930s.
The three-story brick building has a municipally assessed value of $324,000 and is listed for sale for $389,000.
Kathy Cook, general manager for the Ellsworth American and its sister weekly paper The Mount Desert Islander, said Tuesday that it makes sense to consolidate the American’s operations under one roof.
“The Water Street location is a beautiful, historic building that has served us well,” she said. “We will miss it, but given our needs at this time and how closely our staff works together, it makes more sense for us to be in one building.”
Cook said the company has not yet drafted plans for how the production building will be renovated, or determined whether an addition will be needed.
“We will be meeting with an architect in the coming weeks to determine the scope of the renovation,” Cook said.
The Ellsworth American was founded in 1851, while the Mount Desert Islander was founded in 2001. The newspapers were purchased last year from Alan Baker by Camden resident Reade Brower, who owns six of Maine’s seven daily newspapers (all but the Bangor Daily News) and 19 other weeklies scattered throughout the state.