Supervisor Wants Mercury News Downtown

By JEFF BURBANK
|  Monday, May 13, 2013  |  Updated 2:29 PM PDT
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Supervisor Wants Mercury News Downtown

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A member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has urged  the San Jose Mercury News to consider relocating its staff to the former San  Jose City Hall site on First Street.

Supervisor Dave Cortese has recommended that the board at its meeting Tuesday direct county staff to detail what would have to happen  should the newspaper agree to move to the 10-acre former City Hall property.

Cortese said he wrote a letter to Mercury News publisher Mac Tully last Tuesday to "gauge their interest" in either moving to office space in  the 55-year-old building or constructing new office space there.

The old City Hall site, on First Street at West Mission Street, is  next to the County Government Center and light rail stops and near the county  Hall of Justice and the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport,  Cortese said.

"It's a pretty convenient location for a media outlet, or more  than one media outlet" Cortese said. It's an excellent location for them."

A move by the paper also would fit in with the county's effort to  interest private developers in a master plan to include new office, retail  and housing for its 55-acre civic center area that includes the old City Hall  site, Cortese said. 

"I think it would be a win-win to have them there," Cortese said.

The Mercury News announced April 15 that the paper's headquarters and 36-acre property at 750 Ridder Drive was up for sale.
The company said it intended to relocate its newspaper printing  operations from San Jose to Concord and
Hayward and would search for new  local office space for its editorial and other staff members.
Cortese said Tully responded favorably to him in an email but made  no commitment.

"We plan to look at all of these opportunities as we get into our  decision process," Tully wrote, according to Cortese.

Tully could not be reached, but the Mercury News announced this  morning that he was resigning as publisher to become president and chief  executive officer of The Denver Post, owned by Digital First Media, manager  of the Mercury News' owner MediaNews Group.

Replacing Tully as Mercury News publisher is Steve Rossi, a  regional vice president for Digital First Media. 

The old City Hall structure, which has stood vacant since the city  of San Jose moved to the new City Hall complex on Santa Clara Street in 2005,  was completed in 1958.

County officials have said the building qualifies as a historical  landmark and developers would have to propose a "historic reuse" of it with  renovations that do not disrupt the building's historical features, Cortese  said.

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