Four buildings housing federal offices are within a block of one another on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Two are familiar — the Foley Federal Building and the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse.
But a third is in flux and a fourth, being built by a private developer, is behind schedule because of plan changes.
Basically, if you need a federal office, first check out where it might be and save yourself walking time.
The seven-story Bible Federal Building at 600 Las Vegas Blvd. was put up for sale by the federal government, then recently taken off the market.
Meanwhile, a new Federal Justice Tower at 501 Las Vegas Blvd. has been under construction since Nov. 21, 2011.
While it seems odd that the General Services Administration wants to dump one federally owned office building and lease another from a private developer, apparently there are reasons.
Traci Madison, spokeswoman for the GSA based in San Francisco, said if the agency retained the Bible building, it would require “significant investment” to meet federal requirements, including modernization and seismic and security upgrades.
The GSA, which manages the basic functioning of federal agencies, decided it wasn’t worth it.
However, she said in an email that GSA has decided to postpone the sale of the Bible building because of unanticipated delays in relocating federal tenants to other locations in Las Vegas.
If the sale were to proceed with a lease-back to protect remaining federal occupants, the security requirements of the tenants could impose significant restrictions on the use of the building by a private-sector buyer and would not be in the best interest of the government, according to Madison.
The plan is to get the tenants out and sell the building when it’s unoccupied, a much simpler way to go.
The Bible building is 60 percent occupied with the following agencies: Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, GSA, Food and Drug Administration and National Labor Relations Board.
GSA plans to lease the Federal Justice Tower, which is being developed by SDA Inc. Owner Steve Biagiotti declined to reveal the cost but said it is on target to open in February. The delay in the original completion date of March 2013 was caused by delays in planning by the federal government, he said.
However, work has never stopped on the building. The shell is complete and work has been underway on the interior.
The federal government first wanted a five-story building, then a 10-story and finally settled on 11, Biagiotti said. Various city of Las Vegas approvals are expected soon.
The tower will house the executive and administrative offices of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Protective Service (FPS), U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Nevada, and the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. The U.S. attorney’s office for Nevada will move from the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse across the street to the new 11-story tower.
The offices that will move into the U.S. attorney’s vacated space from the courthouse across the street have not been determined.
The Bible building, built in 1985, was purchased from Bonneville Associates in 1987 for $9.9 million, Madison wrote in an email. In April 2013, it was put on the market. No minimum bid was set and it was recently removed from the for sale list and the bold “for sale” sign was removed last week.
The building is named after the U.S. senator for Nevada from 1954 to 1974. Alan Bible, who died in 1988 at age 78, took an unusual path to the Senate.
He was Nevada’s attorney general between 1942 and 1950 and after his two terms ended, he ran for the Senate as a Democrat in 1952 but lost in the primary to a newcomer by 475 votes.
He ran again in 1954 following Sen. Pat McCarran’s death and won, serving three terms.
His two sons became prominent, as well, with Bill Bible becoming chairman of the Gaming Control Board and president of the Nevada Resort Association and Paul Bible becoming chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.