Michael McKinnon Sr., the KUSI owner who considered bidding on the Union-Tribune sale, said he’d valued the newspaper’s Mission Valley headquarters at $60 million.

Though the terms of the newspaper’s sale to Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity have not been disclosed, estimates have emerged between $15 million and $50 million. Like several analysts, McKinnon said the real estate was the most valuable portion. He said the sale likely included three other properties: the newspaper’s Carlsbad offices and two warehouse spaces — not Copley Press’s La Jolla headquarters. County tax records show that the newspaper owns two acres of warehouses in Linda Vista and three acres of industrial land in San Marcos.

McKinnon said by his estimates, the other properties weren’t as valuable as the headquarters — perhaps worth $2 million.

The Mission Valley land is the key to the deal, he said. And keeping the Union-Tribune functioning is vital to having that land and office space produce revenue — particularly with the commercial real estate market slumping.

“The real estate’s only valuable with a tenant, the U-T,” McKinnon said. “The concern they have is whether they can keep the tenant alive or not.”


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