By Jason McCormick | Special to the Almanac
After more than a half-century of editorial and business operations based in Menlo Park, Sunset plans to launch a garden-research facility in Sonoma, and move its brand headquarters to Oakland.
Peggy Northrop, the editor-in-chief of Sunset, confirmed in a statement to The Almanac Tuesday that the magazine that covers dining, gardening and traveling in the West will relocate its flagship offices in December to the Jack London Square area along the East Bay's waterfront, and develop research and editorial coverage of plants, devices and projects at Cornerstone Gardens in California wine country.
This is a significant transition for the 117-year-old publication long associated with its iconic campus and garden on seven acres of land in Menlo Park's Linfield Oaks neighborhood. Last year, Time Inc., the owner of Sunset, reportedly sold that property at 80 Willow Road for $78 million.
Sunset is holding its final open house at the Menlo Park campus on Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7.
"Sunset founded its campus in Menlo Park in 1951, when people were moving to the suburbs across the United States," said Ms. Northrop in a telephone interview June 2. "Now, people are moving closer to urban cores, reusing formerly industrial spaces, and being closer to jobs and food scenes. Sunset is reflecting a trend that our readers are living. In that sense, a magazine always wants to be close to its readers. This is an opportunity for us to do that."
Time said in a press release that in Oakland, Sunset will occupy 22,000 square feet of commercial space in a mixed-use building at 55 Harrison St., where the brand's offices will include a test kitchen and wine cellar. The publisher has also partnered with Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma, expecting to host the magazine's test garden, according to Time.
"This new combination of properties in Oakland and Sonoma gives Sunset an incredible opportunity to interact more intimately with our consumers on an ongoing basis," said Time Group Publisher Greg Schumann in an announcement by the New York company June 2. "We hope visitors to Jack London Square will have the opportunity to connect with Sunset in Water Street Market and that our new facilities at Cornerstone will open up fantastic opportunities for Sunset fans and wine industry partners alike."
Sunset's headquarters in Menlo Park sits on land that was a Spanish grant in 1815, according to the publisher's website.