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Management wishes Sentinel were back downtown

After MediaNews bought the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 2007, it moved the paper from its downtown building on Church Street to an office building in Scotts Valley (pictured here). At the time, locals (as well as many employees) thought the move was a bad idea. The paper had been downtown for 150 years.

Well, the Sentinel reported Friday that its landlord has been foreclosed upon, and the 136,000-square-foot office complex that includes the 18,000-square-foot offices of the newspaper are scheduled to be sold at a public auction.

The foreclosure won’t have much impact on the Sentinel since the new landlord will likely want to keep as many tenants as possible. But Sentinel Publisher Mario van Dongen (who is headed to The Oregonian shortly, see item below) said that if big changes were to occur down the line, the Sentinel would welcome the opportunity to re-evaluate its 10-year lease. He said the newspaper would be better off returning to downtown Santa Cruz nearer to the county hub rather than its current isolated office on the Scotts Valley frontage road.

Mac Tully, vp of the Bay Area Newspaper Group (which includes the Sentinel) and publisher of the Merc, agreed with von Dongen about returning to downtown. “Nobody wishes that you were downtown more than me,” Tully said. (Photo credit: Shmuel Thaler, The Sentinel)

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