Online bidding for the purchase of the former James F. Battin Federal Building in downtown Billings continued Friday, 18 days after the first offer was submitted, before the sale took a break for the weekend.
By the time the General Services Administration, which is running the auction, put the sale on hold for the weekend, the top bid was $2.58 million from bidder 3, entered just before 3 p.m., fewer than 20 minutes before bidding closed.
The auction will resume at 7 a.m. Monday. Earlier in the week, GSA shortened the bidding interval from 24 hours to two hours based on business hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT). If a high bid is not overcome within the two-hour interval, the sale will close.
Bidding continued to be a contest between two potential buyers, identified as bidders 3 and 6. As the countdown clock reached minutes before closing, the low bidder offered a higher bid, only to be topped by another bid within a few minutes. The countdown clock reset for another two hours.
Asbestos contamination in the courthouse led to the construction of a new, $80 million courthouse at 2601 Second Ave. N., which opened last fall. A new, $30 million federal office building at 2021 Fourth Ave. N. also is nearly complete and will house remaining federal workers in the old courthouse.
Information on the sale is available at RealEstateSales.gov.