BERKELEY, CA-The City of Berkeley plans to buy a five-story building on Civic Center Park that it says will cut costs and consolidate city operations. The 96,000-sf building at 1947 Center St. is being acquired from a private investor for approximately $18.5 million.

Berkeley’s Joint Powers Financing Authority has approved funding of the purchase through sale of certificates of participation for about $29 million. This overage will be used for improvements and move-in costs.

The city has used certificates to fund several construction projects in the area, including the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Harrison Field. The certificates are sold to investors, who are paid back with interest over a 30-year interval.

According to the city, the sales certificates will be paid back with the money that the city saves when it stops paying rent on existing offices, which will be moved into the new 96,000-sf building. In addition, the city will try to lease out two floors in the building, bringing in extra income.

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