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A mammoth Knight Ridder sign is hoisted 18 stories into the air by a giant crane. The sign weighs 57,000 pounds and is 94 feet long (and 13 feet tall) Then sign is bolted to the building. The signs are cantilevered out from the building about 10 feet and are held in place by two poles, so the signs will sort of float over the sidewalk. They will be illuminated at night. They are the largest building signs in downtown San Jose and its a bit of an engineering feat to get them mounted safely. The project manager for the sign companyis James Golden of Arrow Sign Co.

SAN JOSE -- The Knight Ridder sign, an icon of the skyline in downtown San Jose, will be removed as part of a revamp of the office tower on which it is displayed.

CBRE Global Investors Strategic Partners bought the 18-story building, located at 50 W. San Fernando near South First Street, at the end of 2012 for an estimated $95 million.

"We will invest capital into the building to remodel it and upgrade it," said Darla Szalla, a principal executive with CBRE Global Investors. "The Knight Ridder name will go away. We are exploring our options."

Among the options: Use a tenant name, or display the tower's new moniker, 50 West, Szalla said.

Encouraged by Knight Ridder’s success in winning the right to mount signage atop its new corporate headquarters that was larger than dictated by city
Encouraged by Knight Ridder's success in winning the right to mount signage atop its new corporate headquarters that was larger than dictated by city size restrictions, other companies are now following suit to get their corporate logos into the air too. ( Judith Calson )

The Knight Ridder name has remained atop the building even though the company, which owned the Mercury News, was bought in 2006 by McClatchy, which owns a number of newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee. The parent company of the Mercury News is now the MediaNews Group.

Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.