Owning a home is something many Americans aspire to do. It is a feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of community. In some parts of the United States, it is certainly more doable than others. We are fortunate here in Guthrie County, as homes are more affordable than on the coasts.
The same could be said for commercial property, depending on who you talk with. Some business owners don’t desire to own the real estate where their companies reside. They would rather skip the hassles of repairs and insurance or the risk of declining values. In many cases, the business owners would prefer to invest their capital in their products, people or services instead of brick and mortar. Every situation is different, of course.
The Times Vedette and its predecessors have been located at 111 E. Main St. in Panora for more years than I can count. Old photos I have seen with Main Street as a dirt road show a sign saying NEWSPAPER on the front of the building. I respect that longstanding tradition. Through the years, I have helped the companies I worked for purchase a variety of publications, most of which came with commercial properties as assets of the sales. I spent countless days cleaning out truckloads of non-working press equipment, moldy darkrooms, outdated light tables and more junk from these old newspaper offices. Museums didn’t even want the stuff.
When I bought the Times Vedette, I took over a lease the prior publisher had, and I did a bit of cleanup — but nothing like other offices I dealt with. When the time came to make improvements to the building, I balked at putting my money into something I didn’t own. So I reached out to the building owner and asked if he would consider selling the property to me. He said he was more interested in buying properties than selling, and he politely declined. As such, I decided to look at other properties in Panora and Guthrie Center, and I found several that would work. I was ready to make an offer.
Then I thought about it more. As most of you know, moving isn’t fun, and it can be costly. With those things in mind, I decided to reach out to my landlord with a written offer. He accepted it, and I am now the owner of the Times Vedette building.
I tell you this because I think it’s important, at least it is to me. It furthers my commitment to the communities we serve, and it opens the doors for us to grow the company with additional products and services, which I look forward to sharing with you in the months ahead.
The American Dream continues.
Thanks for reading.