Developer Martin Selig was revealed Monday as the winning bidder for the former Federal Reserve Building in downtown Seattle, and plans to rehabilitate the 1940s building.

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Developer Martin Selig has purchased the former Federal Reserve Building in downtown Seattle, and plans to rehabilitate the 1940s building.

The designated federal landmark, at 1015 Second Avenue, was eyed by Seattle Public Schools as the potential location for a downtown schoolhouse, but renovation costs were estimated to be as high as $50 million.

Although the building was sold in a goverment auction for $16 million in February, the winner was not disclosed until Monday.

Skeptics have said the requirements to preserve many aspects of the fortress-like Art Deco structure would make it financially challenging to redevelop the property, despite the choice site.

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““You’re underwater the minute you pay for that land because of the landmark rules and the condition of the building,” real-estate broker Craig Kinzer said last fall in an interview. “You’ll have a dead block for the next 20 to 30 years,” he predicted.

Selig’s firm, whose numerous downtown projects have included the 71-story Columbia Center, did not disclose how it plans to utlilize the Federal Reserve structure, saying only that its repurposing will incorporate “a number of the buildings features, such as the two massive vault doors as art pieces in the project.”

The building contains 100,000 square feet, with two floors below grade, and four floors above, Selig said in a statement.