Confirming rumors swirling around the local media world, influential and controversial local hotelier Doug Manchester told us that he’s looking into buying the Union-Tribune, which was sold to new owners just two years ago.
“There’s lots of people interested in that asset,” he said. “There has not been anything completed. We’re looking at it. It’s a very complicated transaction if it were ever to come to fruition.”
Manchester, who likes to be called “Papa Doug,” “has a reputation as an aggressive and litigation-happy developer, who through sheer will and political chutzpah transformed San Diego’s waterfront,” the U-T reported in 2005. He remains a powerful figure, but the state coastal protection agency handed him a big defeat last week when it declined to support his long-planned Navy Broadway Complex.
Manchester is also known for his financial support of 2008’s Prop. 8, the successful state ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage. He later issued a public apology, but some gay activists continued to boycott the hotel.
As CityBeat reported, Manchester separated from his wife, Elizabeth, of 43 years, shortly before the 2008 election. Their divorce became snarled in acrimony.