Local businessman Frank Parillo closed Wednesday on a deal to buy the building that houses the Saratogian and the one-acre lot on which the building stands.
The Lake Avenue property sold for $2.62 million, according to Managing Editor Barbara Lombardo. In a blog posted Wednesday, she said the sale will not impact the local newspaper’s operations and will keep the offices anchored in the central downtown location for at least three years.
“That’s plenty of time to figure out where our base of operations will be after that,” she said. “This is an opportunity to open the door, literally, to the community.”
Parillo, a local investor and business owner, is involved in variety of projects throughout the county. He is the president of the Wilton Travel Plaza on Ballard Road, a partner in the 38 High Rock condominium and hotel development in Saratoga Springs and owner of the Saratoga Strike Zone bowling alley property.
Parillo also had a contract to purchase the former Topper Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealership on South Broadway last winter. It is unclear Wednesday whether he was able to close on that deal.
Parillo’s plans for the Saratogian property were not immediately known. Neither he nor his attorney returned calls Wednesday.
The property is valued at $1.94 million, according to county land records. The building is roughly a century old and has about 14,000 square feet of rentable space.
Journal Register East, the Saratogian’s parent company, sold the property to an Albany-based limited liability corporation for $2 million in December. On the day the property changed ownership, a $4.03 million mortgage that Journal Register East had on the property through Wells Fargo was recorded as paid.
Journal Register Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2009 and emerged in August 2009, the same month it secured the $4.03 million mortgage on the Saratogian property.
Journal Register Company owns 159 non-daily and 20 daily newspapers, including the Troy Record. Michael F. O’Sullivan, the publisher of the Record and the Saratogian, said the sale of the Saratoga Springs property won’t have an impact on how news is covered both online and in print.
Digital First Media, a New York City-based company that now jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company, continues to advance so-called mobile newsrooms and community media labs that are designed to engage the community in reporting local news. O’Sullivan said the new focus could mean changes for the Saratogian in the future, but won’t change its focus on delivering local news in print and online.
“We’ve got some time to decide where to move our operations and how we’d like to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.