11:30 a.m.: The latest high bid is $350,509, being offered by Bidder 3 at 12:06 a.m. The bid reset the 24-hour auction clock, which means the sale will end early Friday morning if no other bids are submitted.
Initial Report:The online auction of the old federal courthouse in downtown Billings continued Wednesday night, as two bidders went back and forth, pushing the sale at least into Thursday night.
Two bidders, known only by their numbers, 2 and 3, kept topping each other in what has turned into a bidding war. The latest bid, of $325,509, came at 8:12 p.m.
The sale, which is being conducted by the federal General Services Administration, will continue until 24 hours have passed without a bid.
Offers from four bidders had reached $75,509 by Wednesday morning. The sale was about two hours from ending when two of the bidders upped their earlier offers within about 20 minutes of each other. The same two bidders did it again late Wednesday afternoon, boosting the high offer from $150,509 to $225,509 in a burst of bidding within two minutes shortly after 4 p.m.
Then about 90 minutes later, at just before 5:40 p.m., one of the bidders raised the bid another $25,000, to $250,509. That figure stood until just before 8:10 p.m., when a flurry of bids between the two occurred.
In less than five minutes, the amount went from $275,509 to $300,509 and then to $325,509.
The minimum bid was $1. GSA said bidding increments were $25,000. The identity of the bidders has not been disclosed.
GSA is selling the former James F. Battin Federal Courthouse at 316 N. 26th St. The five-story, 221,000-square-foot-building is contaminated with asbestos, which led to the agency building a new courthouse for $80 million. The new courthouse opened last fall at 2601 Second Ave. N.
U.S. Department of Interior workers still working in the old courthouse will be moving later this spring to a new $30 million office building under construction at 2021 Fourth Ave. N.
Information about the auction is available online at RealEstateSales.gov or PropertyDisposal.gsa.gov.