Advocate-Messenger sells building, but will remain in current offices

Published 8:58 am Monday, October 9, 2017

The Advocate-Messenger’s building has been sold, but the newspaper’s home will remain where it has been for more than three decades on South Fourth Street.

The newspaper’s parent company, Bluegrass Newsmedia LLC, sold the two tracts of land that the building sits on in August for $1.4 million, according to property transfer records. Marvin & Noel Land Company LLC purchased the properties.

Larry Hensley, publisher of The Advocate-Messenger, said the newspaper plans to lease its current office space in the building while the new owner, Doug Gooch, works to lease out the other areas no longer in use.

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“We’re going to continue to stay in the building and continue to support Danville and Boyle County. That’s what made (the sale) really attractive,” Hensley said. “The outsourcing of printing four years ago left two-thirds of the building unoccupied and unused. We’ve tried finding partners to utilize that space, but we were unable to. This opportunity came along and I’m confident that his (Gooch’s) focus can be on that because our focus is on producing a daily newspaper.”

Gooch said he purchased the building because “it’s a great building.”

“I like the way it’s constructed. The permanence of the building is really good,” he said. “… There isn’t a better location in Danville in my mind from a business-office perspective.”

Gooch said he hopes to find a “professional medical (business) of some type” that wants to lease the unused space.

“We want it to be two different buildings. We want it to be The Advocate-Messenger on the front and we want it to be professional medical on the south side,” he said.

Hensley said The Advocate-Messenger first moved into the building more than 30 years ago, at which time the paper’s owner, Schurz Communications Inc., had the front area, press room and lunch room built onto the original structure. Prior to being the newspaper’s home, it was Mattingly-Rapier Chevrolet for decades, according to news archives. The newspaper broke ground at the location in March 1985.

Hensley said customers visiting The Advocate-Messenger should experience no changes — the customer entrance and parking remain the same as they have been.

“We get to stay in the building that we’ve been in for the past 30-plus years, so we get to continue to serve the community here,” Hensley said. “Meanwhile, someone else can focus on utilization of the rest of the building.”