Signs went up late last month at the building we lease on Mission Street for the offices of The Wenatchee Valley Business World and The Wenatchee World. It is clear to many that it is a commercial real estate sign listing our building for sale.
The sign created some concern and confusion among some people in the community and a few staff members. Washington Media LLC, the company that owns the Business World and Wenatchee World, leases this space from the Woods family who previously owned the organization before selling it to Wick Communications in the spring 2018.
I love our location on Mission. It is known by our customers. It is part of downtown Wenatchee and has ample parking for our staff. It is historic. We do not occupy the whole building. Rather, we share building space and a few common areas with a number of other independent organizations. My plan is to stay here as we successfully navigate our emergence from the pandemic. But, since our organization does not own the building, the ultimate outcome is yet to be determined.
Washington Media occupies two locations in Wenatchee. In addition to our Mission Street offices, we own the building and an adjacent lot off Ninth Street between Wenatchee Avenue and the railroad tracks. This Ninth Street location is where our production team prints and packages our newspapers and many other companies’ publications.
I understand now how the signs indicating a sale of the building may cause concern for some people. This location has been home to the Wenatchee World for decades. We all like to associate places with ideas and memories. The great thing about the news business is that we report on things happening today and we share ideas. Those become part of our community’s historical record. So, I imagine there is something very real about our presence here in Wenatchee because we have been tied to this building for many years.
I’ll reiterate that my preference is for our current offices to remain here at 14 N. Mission. The past 15 months have proven that we are much more than our workstations in a set office. Most of our reporters have worked all or part of their jobs from their home offices during the pandemic and they have continued to produce great work.
The past couple weeks we have seen many of our news and advertising staff come back into the office. Those daily interpersonal connections are what is going to help propel us forward.
We’re still here. Business is good. The future is exciting! I am confident that wherever our teams are located, we will be defined by the quality of our work and the impact we have in our community.