WaPo Tells the Origin Story of Its New Digs

"By any standard, this was a true Washington real estate adventure. "

Here is what seasoned real estate developer Jeffrey Zell told WaPo’s Jonathan O’Connell about the two-year search for a new home for the Post: “I spent more time on this deal than on any other I’ve done in my life.”

O’Connell points to the extra-Washingtonian spirit of the search as part of the reason it took so long, writing, “By the time the company moves, in mid-December, nearly all the people who began the hunt will have departed The Post.” That includes former Post owner Donald Graham, who ended his family’s eight-decade dynasty at the paper when he sold it to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2013.

Had Graham not sold the Post, the paper’s new location would likely have been 88 M street NE, where it would have occupied two floors in a planned new construction. That location landed in the top three under the new Bezos regime as well, but was ultimately deemed too remote and prestigeless for Bezos.

The ultimate pick, 1301 K St. NW–aka One Franklin Square–is a building with older bones being updated with a new inside (and some of the outside as well), designed for the collaborative needs of a modern, digitally-minded newsroom. Those needs will leave little room for private offices, which will comprise about 10 percent of the space, at best.

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