Tuesday, May 30, 2006

57,000-pound KR signs headed for scrap heap

Katherine Conrad of the Merc reports this morning that the 57,000-pound, 13-foot-tall, 94-foot-wide Knight Ridder sign atop the office building at 50 W. San Fernando St. in San Jose is probably headed for the scrap heap for recycling after the newspaper chain shuts down in July. The sign was controversial when it went up in 1999. Chairman Tony Ridder required that the city change its sign ordinance to allow for the behemoth as a condition of moving the company headquarters from Miami to San Jose. San Jose tightened the sign rules after it went up to prevent such a sign from being erected again. However, a new tenant in the same building could use the same sign, and put its name in place of "Knight Ridder." The leasing agent also predicts there will be demand for the two floors Knight Ridder's corporate brass occupied: "It's breathtaking space,'' Mark Ritchie said. "The finishes, the flooring, the millwork, the cabinets. It's beautiful and contemporary and very current. We actually would like to have the space available because of the activity in the last three months."

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