NOON: Bidders 3 and 6 made new offers at midday. Bidder 3 registered a bid of $2,080,000 at 11:16 a.m. Bidder 6 returned to the top bidder position with an offer of $2,105,000 at 11:25 a.m.
INITIAL REPORT: Ten days into the auction, the bidding war that has broken out over the old Billings federal courthouse building continued Thursday.
The latest bid came in at about 3:30 p.m. when Bidder 6 drove the price up another $25,000, to $2,055,000.
Bidder 3, who has been involved in the back-and-forth bidding, has not responded -- yet.
The two unidentified bidders have been battling since April 27, when the price for the James F. Battin Federal Courthouse topped $1 million. Since then, the bidding has increased daily in mostly consistent increments of $25,000 — the lowest bid allowed — between the two parties.
Four other bidders registered to participate in the auction, but they apparently lost interest as the price for the five-story, 48-year-old building on nearly an acre of prime downtown real estate approached $1 million.
The federal General Services Administration opened the auction on April 23. The sale will close when 24 hours passes without a bid.
The building, which was completed in 1965, housed several federal agencies and U.S. District Court. Asbestos in the building drove the federal government to build a new $80 million federal courthouse.
Several federal agencies will soon move out of the old courthouse into a separate $30 million office building.