The Palo Alto Weekly will break ground within the next two months on a new three-story office building at 450 Cambridge Ave. that will become its new headquarters. It will also be a model for green building design and construction, according to Weekly publisher and company president Bill Johnson.
The 10,000-square-foot, aluminum- and glass-paneled office will be built on the former site of the Palo Alto Glass Co., across the street from the California Ave. parking garage.
Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2009.
Since 1981, the Weekly has rented an 8,600-square-foot building on Forest Avenue.
"While we will miss our downtown location, we are excited about becoming a part of the California Ave. business district," Johnson said. "We have been looking for an opportunity to purchase or build our own headquarters for several years, and this project has enabled us to design a building around our unique needs."
It will be the first office project in Palo Alto to be certified LEED "silver" -- a designation given when a building incorporates numerous environmentally sensitive features. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nationally recognized nonprofit committed to expanding the use of sustainable building practices.
The Weekly headquarters will conserve significant amounts of energy, according to Johnson.
"While it adds considerable complexity and cost, we wanted to use this project as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to these environmental principles and to create a building that will be healthy and comfortable for our employees, as well as a model for future developers," Johnson said.
The building design was approved by the city's Architectural Review Board last June. The facility will cost approximately $5 million to construct, according to Johnson, and house about 50 employees.
The project is being managed by local developer Jim Baer, who jointly purchased the land with the Weekly in 2006 and who introduced and proposed seeking the LEED certification to the company. Baer's interest will be bought out when construction is complete, Johnson said.
The architect is the Hagman Group in San Jose, and the general contractor is Cody-Brock Inc. Financing has been provided by Mid-Peninsula Bank, a part of Wells Fargo Bank.
Founded in 1979, the Palo Alto Weekly is part of the Embarcadero Publishing Company chain, which includes six Bay Area newspapers and their associated Web sites, including PaloAltoOnline.com. The company is owned by mostly local shareholders. The Weekly publishes twice a week, with a circulation of 37,000.