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December 11, 2014

Sunset Magazine headquarters in Menlo Park sold

San Jose Mercury News

George Avalos

The iconic Sunset Magazine offices here have been bought by a realty investment firm in a deal that will eventually lead to a relocation of the famous test kitchens next year, Time Inc. said Wednesday.

Embarcadero Capital Partners has bought the seven-acre site on Willow Road near Middlefield Road. Time will continue to publish the Sunset Magazine brand even after the property changes hands. The purchase is expected to be complete by year's end.

"We will start looking for space in January," Jill Davison, a spokeswoman for Time, said Wednesday. "We want to stay in the Bay Area."

In a letter to Sunset Magazine employees, Time said the magazine would continue to occupy its building at 80 Willow Road through December 2015 and its building across the street, at 85 Willow Road, through July 2015. The magazine will use a sale-leaseback arrangement to occupy the buildings, Davison said. The deal will enable the publication to host its 2015 Sunset Celebration Weekend on its campus.

"Since we began engaging with the local real estate market last month, there has been a lot of interest in our Sunset Campus," Evelyn Webster, an executive vice president with Time, said in an email to employees of the magazine on Wednesday.

The magazine has occupied the site since 1951, Davison said.

"We will be working together with the Sunset team on a thoughtful search for a new home for our operations after the New Year," Webster said in the email.

The realty firm will be obtaining an excellent location, property experts say. Embarcadero Capital Partners owns a number of office buildings in the Bay Area, including Santa Clara County and the East Bay.

"The Sunset Magazine campus in a prime spot in Silicon Valley," said Chad Leiker, a broker with Kidder Mathews, a commercial realty firm.

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