Saturday bid pushes up top offer for old federal building

2013-05-03T21:27:00Z 2013-05-09T16:19:06Z Saturday bid pushes up top offer for old federal buildingGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
May 03, 2013 9:27 pm  • 

8:15 a.m.: Bidder 3 entered a new bid Saturday at 8:02 a.m. The $2,130,000 offer is now tops in the online auction for the old federal building. The auction began April 22.

INITIAL REPORT: Two bidders continued to inch up the stakes on the old Billings federal building Friday.

At 11:25 a.m. Friday, Bidder 6 upped the ante to $2,105,000, $25,000 over Bidder 3's $2,080,000, made nine minutes earlier.

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.

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. Unless another bid is made, the sale will close at 11:25 a.m. Saturday, 24 hours after the most recent 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. 

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