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James F. Battin Federal Building

James F. Battin Federal Building is being sold in an online auction.

3:28 p.m.: Bidder 3 holds the top bid of 2.58 million made at 2:59 p.m.

1:20 p.m.: Bidder 6 offered $2.555 million at 1:16 p.m.

1:12 p.m.: Bidder 3 offered $2.53 million at 1:03 p.m.

11:14 a.m.: Bidder 6 offered $2.505 million at 11:09 a.m.

11:02 a.m.: Bidder 3 submitted a bid for $2.480 million at 10:58 a.m.

9:10 a.m.:  Bidder 6 offered $2.455 million at 9:02 a.m.

9:01 a.m. Bidder 3 offered $2.430 million at 8:57 a.m.

Initial Report: Two bidders continued their battle for ownership of the former James F. Battin Federal Courthouse in downtown Billings in an online auction that intensified Thursday.

As of 2:54 p.m., bidder 6 had the top offer at $2.405 million.

The General Services Administration, which is running the sale, then announced that a “two-business-hour countdown clock” was in effect and listed the closing time as 9 a.m. Friday.

No further bids can be made until 7 a.m. Friday, when the system will resume operations and offers can be made during the 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT) period, the GSA said.

With the bid interval shortened from 24 hours to two hours, bidders 3 and 6 mostly waited until only minutes remained on the countdown clock before upping their offers. The price increased $150,000 by Thursday afternoon.

With each new bid, the clock reset, extending the sale by two hours until the Thursday afternoon offer.

The two bidders have been the only potential buyers since the price hit $1 million. The GSA began receiving bids on April 23.

The five-story, 221,000-square-foot building at 316 N. 26th St. went up for sale after asbestos contamination led to the construction of a new, $80 million courthouse at 2601 Second Ave. N.

Another new, $30 million office building at 2021 Fourth Ave N. will soon house federal workers remaining in the old courthouse.

Information on the sale is available at





Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.