By ROGER WOOD, InDepthNH.org
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A Portsmouth icon, the WHEB radio station built on Route 1, could soon become anything but a broadcast facility.
Two commercial real estate companies have announced ownership of 815 Lafayette Road for $3.67 million. newenglandcommercialrealestate.com and loopnet.com both offer the property and suggest that it could become another use.
The ad contains a photo of the radio station’s main entrance and advertising copy for its sale. Of the New England commercial real estate supply, the land and building can be used for other purposes.
“Excellent redevelopment opportunity with 3.7 acres of developable upland and potential uses including car dealership, housing development, medical building, recreation complex, etc.
The Gateway Corridor area allows for many uses, including multi-family, commercial leisure/fitness club, office and/or doctor’s office, shopping center and restaurant. The property includes 2 towers, a 492′ broadcast tower and a 217′ radio tower.”
The ad also mentions an on-site billboard, with revenue of $66,000 per year. iHeart media currently owns the property, which houses several radio stations in the same building. The company has already sold its other broadcast property in the city, originally WBBX AM, then WPLA, ceased broadcasting in 2015 at 1380 kilohertz an exit by Portsmouth’s WHEB would mark the radio station’s final departure serving the city directly.
The company also owns WGIR in Manchester. A reliable source said that at least the morning radio crew will broadcast from there this fall. An effort to reach iHeart media’s headquarters was unsuccessful.
Roger Wood is an award-winning radio, print and television journalist with over 40 years of media experience. Roger has spent his entire professional career in New Hampshire. Roger is currently Associate Editor at InDepthNH.org. He has produced news and special features for InDepthNH, New Hampshire Public Radio, NPR, and other public and commercial radio stations. He also produced spot news for CBS Radio.