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SURPRISE, AZ-With construction having launched on the city’s new city hall, officials have put the current seat of government–a four-building complex totaling 63,500 sf–up for auction. The bid deadline is Nov. 20, with the minimum set at $8.6 million, the market value of the property.

Surprise’s economic development manager Jeanine Jerkovic says an auction process on the 24-year-old complex at 12425 W. Bell Rd. was selected because of the huge amount of community interest in the site. “Our city council and staff and all of us were approached by various interests, asking us what we planned to do with the space,” she says. “We decided to put this to a bid to see who’s really interested and what they’d do if they had the space.”

Jerkovic tells GlobeSt.com that the 6.5-acre asset is available for sale or lease. In the event of a sale, it has to be presented as a public referendum. Either way, once bids are sifted through, a recommendation will be made to city council, which is slated for Dec. 11. “At that time,” she explains, “they’ll decide whether to enter into a lease or sell it.”

While bids on the old city hall complex are taking place, the new one is going vertical two miles west at the crossroads of Bell and Bullard roads. Ground broke earlier this year on the 134,000-sf, four-story building at a cost of $48.5 million. Jerkovic says move-in should take place by July 1.

Also under construction adjacent to the new city hall is an $8.5-million, 26,000-sf, single-story building that will be owned by the Maricopa County Community College District and operated as Rio Salado Community College. Jerkovic says when Surprise city staff outgrows the new city hall in 10 to 15 years that Rio Salado is to sell the building to the city for fair-market value.

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