Cross Insurance to buy Bangor Daily News building

The Bangor Daily News building on the corner of Buck and Main streets in Bangor.
The Bangor Daily News building on the corner of Buck and Main streets in Bangor. Buy Photo
Posted May 02, 2014, at 7:03 p.m.
Henry J. Thibodeau, the NEWS employee with the longest active service, officially began construction of the new building at Main and Buck streets by breaking ground on Sept. 22, 1953. Thibodeau, day supervisor of the composing room, joined The NEWS on May 15, 1918. Watching the first spadeful are Carolyn, 6, and Ricky Warren, 8, front row. Second row, left to right, are Mrs. Mary A. Towle; Mrs Lillis T. Jordan, president and publisher; and Mrs. Joanne J. Warren. Third row, Andrew J. Pease, advertising manager; Raymond J. Cox, production manager; John M. O'Connell, Jr., managing editor; Frank L. Ames, general manager; Robert E. Kiah, business manager; Walter S. Lancaster, architect; Ambrose S. Higgins, architect; Leroy S. Nickerson, constructor; Gerald O'Day, constructor; and Richard K. Warren, assistant publisher.
Spike Webb | BDN
Henry J. Thibodeau, the NEWS employee with the longest active service, officially began construction of the new building at Main and Buck streets by breaking ground on Sept. 22, 1953. Thibodeau, day supervisor of the composing room, joined The NEWS on May 15, 1918. Watching the first spadeful are Carolyn, 6, and Ricky Warren, 8, front row. Second row, left to right, are Mrs. Mary A. Towle; Mrs Lillis T. Jordan, president and publisher; and Mrs. Joanne J. Warren. Third row, Andrew J. Pease, advertising manager; Raymond J. Cox, production manager; John M. O'Connell, Jr., managing editor; Frank L. Ames, general manager; Robert E. Kiah, business manager; Walter S. Lancaster, architect; Ambrose S. Higgins, architect; Leroy S. Nickerson, constructor; Gerald O'Day, constructor; and Richard K. Warren, assistant publisher. Buy Photo
The Bangor Daily News building on the corner of Buck and Main streets in Bangor.
The Bangor Daily News building on the corner of Buck and Main streets in Bangor. Buy Photo
The Bangor Daily News building is seen from the air in 2009.
Kevin Bennett | BDN
The Bangor Daily News building is seen from the air in 2009. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — Cross Insurance announced Friday that it is purchasing the Bangor Daily News building. The Main Street building, which is across Buck Street from the new Cross Insurance Center, will house the company’s 75 Bangor employees.

“This is an attractive move for our company given that it will greatly enhance the Cross brand as we take up residency in the immediate vicinity of our namesake Cross Insurance Center,” said Royce Cross, president and CEO of Cross Insurance. “We look forward to working with the dedicated staff of the Bangor Daily News to ensure a seamless transition as we relocate our headquarters.”

The building at 491 Main St. has been home to the Bangor Daily News since 1954. The paper was started in 1889.

For several months, employees of both companies will be housed at the Main Street building. Cross Insurance will move its corporate headquarters from Gilman Road in Bangor to 491 Main St.

The Bangor Daily News itself is not being sold, and the company will be looking for new office space in Bangor.

“I am glad that the building will again be fully utilized as the new headquarters of the Cross Insurance Agency,” said Bangor Daily News Publisher Richard J. Warren. “I look forward to the BDN finding a new long-term home in Bangor and serving Maine for many more years to come.”

Bangor Publishing Co., which has been owned by the Warren family since 1891, is selling the nearly 63,000-square-foot building to address the newspaper’s changing space needs. As the BDN, the state’s largest media company, has grown statewide digitally, it has opened new bureaus, including in Portland.

The building housed the newspaper’s presses until the early 1990s, when the publication opened a printing plant in Hampden. Last year, Bangor Publishing Co. announced the closure of the Hampden plant and agreements with media partners to print the daily newspaper in Lewiston, Brunswick and Presque Isle.

“This is a major change for the BDN — we’ve been at 491 Main for 60 years, but I think it also marks the beginning of an important new phase in the company’s history,” said Todd Benoit, chief operating officer and vice president of the BDN.

The agreed-upon sales price has not been disclosed.

Cross Insurance is a subsidiary of Cross Financial Corp., and one of the largest independent insurance providers in New England. The family-owned company was founded in 1954. It now has more than 650 employees in more than 35 offices, serving 100,000 customers throughout the region.

Epstein Commercial Real Estate of Bangor, managed by commercial broker Carol Epstein, represented the Bangor Daily News on the sale of the building and also will represent the newspaper in its search for a new home.

“Selling a building as iconic as this one is always a challenge,” said Epstein listing broker Bev Uhlenhake. “The strong interest we saw attests to the growing strength of the Main Street corridor, the quality of the building, and the reputation of the Bangor Daily News.”

 

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