Update | 10 p.m. Sunday
And the bidding still continues. At 9:41 p.m. on Sunday, a new bid came in for $12.5 million. That reset the clock under federal auction rules, under which bidding continues until the highest bid goes unchallenged for 24 hours. The government can choose to decrease that time frame, but hasn’t done so yet.
Going once, going twice… still going: The online auction for a former bank building Seattle Public Schools would like for a downtown school will continue though at least Saturday afternoon.
The top bid was $9.6 million with about an hour to go early Friday afternoon when a bidder pushed it to $9.7 million, which re-set the clock for another 24 hours.
That was followed shortly by a new bidder in the mix, who pushed it to $9.8 million. And then that bid was topped, pushing the price to $9.9 million.
The auction for the former Federal Reserve building originally was 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.
Seattle Public Schools is among seven bidders in the auction for the 90,000-square-foot concrete edifice on the corner of Spring Street and Second Avenue, which the district plans to turn into a downtown elementary school if taxpayers agree.
The building has been vacant since 2008, when the Federal Reserve moved its regional offices to Renton.
The bidding opened on 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.
Seattle Public Schools tried to get the building last summer for free under a complex federal process for unloading surplus government property.
But the U.S. Department of Education returned the district’s application, saying its proposal was too tentative.
School Board members voted unanimously against submitting a revised application, saying the district didn’t have the money in hand — about $53 million, by district projections — to turn the building into an elementary school within the required three years and could have faced fines for not meeting the tight schedule.
Then earlier this month, the school board agreed to try again, bidding on the property at auction, which would allow the district to renovate the hulking structure on its own schedule.
Buying the building at auction also would give the district time to put a request before voters on the next construction levy, which is scheduled to appear on the ballot next year.