Sunset Publishing Corp., which has been at 80 Willow Road in Menlo Park for 63 years, permanently closed its gardens to the public on Friday, Oct. 30.
Sunset will move its operations on Friday, Dec. 4, to two locations, according to Sunset's Racquel Dela Cueva. Editorial and business operations will move to Oakland's Jack London Square. Sunset's test garden beds and kitchen will move to Sonoma and operate there in partnership with Cornerstone Sonoma.
According to a blog post by Peggy Northrop, editor in chief of Sunset Publishing, the move mirrors readers' increasing preference for urban life, just as the magazine's move from San Francisco to Menlo Park in 1951 then mirrored readers' preference for suburban life.
"Now the trend has reversed and Westerners young people starting careers and empty-nesters alike are opting to live where we can walk, bike or take public transit to work and experience new restaurants, shopping and culture out our front doors," Ms. Northrop wrote.
She added that the Sunset staff is looking forward to the amenities of urban life, such as convenient public transit, and the burgeoning food scene at Jack London Square.
In addition, she said, "amidst all the shiny new stuff, we love that the location connects us to our history: Jack London was a regular contributor to Sunset back in the day, and the cabin-style bar that was his regular haunt will be at our doorstep."
Sunset's seven-acre campus was purchased by Embarcadero Capital Partners in December 2014, after Menlo College had briefly explored the option of buying the land to preserve and use for additional student housing.
Embarcadero Capital Partners has not yet submitted plans for the site. When the property was sold, Jim Cogan, the city's economic development manager, said the city would need to see some plans to preserve the historical value of the site, and, since it is zoned for commercial use, it would be very difficult to build any kind of high-density residential development.
The Sunset offices in Menlo Park were designed by Cliff May, the "father of the California ranch-style home," Sunset says. The doors opened in 1952.