$4 Million Project to Remove Asbestos from Montana Federal Courthouse
After years of disuse, the former James F. Battin Federal Courthouse located in downtown Billings, MT will be stripped clear of asbestos during renovations to turn it into an office space.
WC Commercial, LLC, an Alaska-based company, bought the property at a foreclosure sale in July of 2016 for approximately $3.2 million. The cost of renovation is expected to be around $4 million, a far lower figure than the $10 to $16 million preliminary estimate submitted to the federal government when the property was first listed for sale according to EEC president Quentin Eggart, whose company is handling the renovations. It was previously owned by Colorado Tire Corp. of Tacoma, WA. The building was purchased for $3.27 million from the federal government at a 2013 auction before property taxes went delinquent, and the building left nearly abandoned.
In an interview with the Billings Gazette in December of 2016, Eggart said that the asbestos removal began in November and was expected to take another six to eight months to complete. He said that there are large portions of asbestos present in the building materials on each floor, and that the building renovations will take place as the cancerous materials are cleared away.
Due to the severity of the asbestos problem, the federal government built a brand new courthouse several blocks away for $80 million dollars.
Joe Holden, the owner of WC Commercial, LLC sent out a news release thanking the city of Billings and Big Sky Economic Development for their support of the project, and said that:
“We are excited to begin the process of bringing this building back to life in downtown Billings.”
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