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CHAMPAIGN — The former owners of The News-Gazette found a buyer Wednesday in a socially distanced auction in the now-empty former newsroom of the downtown building.

Bids opened at the reserve price of $900,000 and stopped at $1.1 million, former Publisher John Reed said, but the final sale price may differ once it closes within 25 days.

He declined to say who bought it, but said he was pleased with the outcome.

“I’m extremely satisfied with the results of the auction,” Reed said. “I’m glad to see it going to a local buyer who we hope will continue to provide good stewardship in the downtown area.”

The proceeds from the auction will be used to pay back News-Gazette Inc.’s creditors, Reed said.

“We’ll be wrapping all that up over the coming months,” he said.

The News-Gazette was sold to Community Media Group in November and moved in April to its new headquarters at 201 Devonshire Drive, C.

The building at 15 Main St. was built around 1912, and The News-Gazette had been there since 1984.

The 53,000-square-foot glass, granite and marble structure was marketed by local broker Jill Guth and Colliers International, which ran the auction.

“This incredibly significant building in Champaign attracted multiple bidders today in a very robust bidding activity among multiple bidders,” said auctioneer Mark Abood, a senior vice president at Colliers. “A high bidder was identified. Certainly, we hope they have some exciting plans for the property.”