Time Inc. Sells Sunset Campus
Future of major on-campus event up in the air.
After selling its Birmingham, Ala. campus—home to Southern Living and Cooking Light—last month, Time Inc. announced that it’s reached an agreement to sell the Menlo Park, Calif. campus of Sunset to a San Francisco real estate firm.
Terms weren’t disclosed, but the Silicon Valley Buisness Journal estimates it sold for at least $77 million. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year, though the magazine will stay on the property through December 2015.
While the deal allows Sunset to hold its Celebration Weekend next year, the annual on-campus event—one of Time Inc.’s most successful events in terms of revenue, according to one of the event’s organizers speaking at a FOLIO: event this year—is up in the air beyond that.
"We’re focused on 2015 right now," says a Time Inc. spokesperson.
The two-day festival highlights regional food, wine, home and entertainment trends for more than 20,000 paying attendees each year and draws significant sponsorship dollars. The magazine also hosts a number of off-site events throughout the region, though the Celebration Weekend is its largest experiential offering.
Aside from losing the seven-acre campus grounds, the sale means Sunset is losing its test kitchens and gardens as well—key elements in many of its editorial features.
Evelyn Webster, executive vice president for Time Inc., says in a memo to employees that the company will begin its search for a new home after Jan. 1.
Sunset has occupied the Menlo Park campus since 1951.