The deadline for bidding on a vacant bank building that Seattle Public Schools hopes to turn into a downtown school has been extended.
The auction for the former Federal Reserve building was originally slated to be finished Wednesday, but under federal auction rules the bidding continues until the highest bid goes unchallenged for 24 hours. The Fed can also choose to decrease that time frame.
As of early Wednesday evening, six bidders were vying for the property and the high bid was $7.6 million. The online auction started Dec. 5, but the auction’s website shows the first bid was cast on Jan. 24th. Earlier this month, the General Services Administration, which is running the auction, lowered the starting bid from $5 million to $1 million.
All bidding is confidential. Seattle Public Schools has confirmed it is one of the six bidders, but is not saying how much it intends to offer. A spokeswoman for the General Services Administration said the agency can’t say who the other bidders are, and won’t even reveal the winner until the sale is complete, which will be about 60 days after the auction. But the bidders can disclose who they are at any time.
The 90,000-square-foot concrete fortress on the corner of Spring Street and Second Avenue has been vacant since 2008, when the Federal Reserve moved its regional offices to Renton. School district leaders expect it will cost about $53 million to renovate the building into an elementary school for a growing number of downtown kids.