A portion of The Pantagraph building is up for lease. That may not be the biggest news of the week, but it’s worth explaining to readers what’s happening.

It means two things. First, it means The Pantagraph will continue to operate out of the building located at 301 W. Washington St. Second, it means we may be sharing the building with a tenant.

And that’s all it means. It doesn’t mean The Pantagraph is closing, is in financial turmoil or any of the other rumors that are likely to surface. The plan to lease out space is a business decision to turn unused space into something useful.

The amount of space available, about 25,000 feet of office space and up to 12,000 square feet of warehouse space, became available through a series of events over several years. The Pantagraph building includes a total of about 87,000 square feet. So, we’re still going to be using a lot of it. Real estate agent John Albee (309-665-0787) is handling any lease inquiries.

The decision to lease some of the space came about from a series of moves over a series of years.

More than a year ago, the printing of The Pantagraph and its other printed products was moved to an off-site printing plant in Peoria. The reason was that The Pantagraph press was outdated and the cost of an upgrade would run in the millions of dollars. The state-of-the-art Peoria press allowed us the immediate opportunity to give customers a better printed product, with more color.

The printing press and its accompanying equipment have been moved, freeing up quite a bit of space.

The Pantagraph has also streamlined operations over the years, creating some more space. And the digital equipment we now use to produce the paper takes up less space than the larger, bulky equipment of years past. We’ve also combined many operations with the Decatur Herald & Review, resulting in more space being available.

We are often asked about the health of the newspaper business in general, and The Pantagraph in particular. It’s guaranteed those questions will remain.

The answer is simple. We’re a strong business that will exist for many, many years.

In fact, the death of newspapers that was predicted a few years ago hasn’t happened. You’re reading a newspaper right now, an activity that many predicted would by now be obsolete. The prognosticators, many from competing media, may have been voicing some wishful thinking. Whatever the reason, they were wrong.

Instead, we have grown as a source of information in the community. Our products — including the printed product, websites and information on mobile devices — are read by more people in this market than at any time in our history. Without a doubt the last few years have not been easy for businesses in our industry. It’s not been a great few years for most industries. But we have emerged stronger and better equipped to meet the needs of our readers and advertisers.

Like all businesses, we have to adapt to changing times and conditions. That’s what is involved with trying to lease a portion of The Pantagraph building.

Gary Sawyer can be reached at gary.sawyer@lee.net.

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