SAN JOSE -- Santa Clara County has an old San Jose City Hall building it wants to unload. The county's oldest newspaper -- the Mercury News -- is shedding its old digs off Interstate 880 and seeking a new home for its newsroom staff.
A match made in Heaven?
Supervisor Dave Cortese thinks so. He asked the paper's publisher to consider the idea this week and requested a discussion about it at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
Mercury News parent company MediaNews Group announced last month that it is selling the paper's longtime home on Ridder Park Drive. Printing and production operations are to move to Concord and Hayward in coming months while the paper searches for new newsroom office space in Silicon Valley.
"Moving this news media out of Santa Clara County will make it difficult for our residents," Cortese said, to receive "up to date and timely news that is relevant."
San Jose moved out of the old City Hall at 801 N. First St. in 2005 for a newly built City Hall at Fourth and Santa Clara streets downtown. San Jose officials said they had outgrown the 54-year-old building and that outdated technology made renovating it impractical. In 2011 the city traded the old city hall to the county to pay off debt. County officials have been looking to redevelop the entire 10-acre site that includes the old City Hall.
Cortese acknowledged the old City Hall isn't exactly "move-in ready." Early reports had put the cost to renovate the building around $46 million. It's about a third as big as the newspaper's current headquarters. It also has historical significance as an example of early "International Style glass curtain wall office building" -- even office-park architecture has its fans.
But Cortese noted that it also has pluses, with its proximity to freeways, transit, the airport and downtown.
Mercury News Publisher Mac Tully said the paper hasn't started exploring its newsroom relocation but added that the county isn't the only suitor.
"There has been quite a bit of interest in where we will relocate, and we already have been contacted by multiple interested parties," Tully said. "We plan to look at all these opportunities as we get into our decision process."
Contact John Woolfolk at 408-975-9346. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/johnwoolfolk1.