N.O. building that houses FBI goes on auction block - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

N.O. building that houses FBI goes on auction block

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New Orleans, La. -

The FBI headquarters out by the lake could be out of its building, depending on whether the new owners move in a different direction.

The FBI doesn't own the building and owners of the facility on Leon C. Simon Boulevard owe the bank over $20 million, and the bank wants its money. 

It is home to the investigators who have helped bring down corrupt politicians from Edwin Edwards to Aaron Broussard, and FOX 8 has learned that in two months it's going up for sale at an Orleans Parish Sheriff's auction.

"The FBI is just the tenant here, the owners didn't pay the bank and the owners are now foreclosing on the people who own the building," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti.

The FBI rents space in the building near the lakefront from a company called Rubicon GSA, based in Chicago. FOX 8 has learned that Rubicon GSA owes over $22 million to the mortgage holder, who is now suing for the property to be seized and sold at sheriff's auction.

Though federal sequestration cuts have had an impact, FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig says the FBI has been making rent payments on time, and that's not an issue.

FBI officials say it's not like they haven't been affected by federal budget issues -- in fact, they say they have.  But so far they say it hasn't impacted investigative manpower.

Romig says the FBI can guarantee with certainty that all operations will continue.

"Whenever there's a foreclosure there's a transition in ownership but yes there's a possibility... I think there's a 90-day window that you can evict a tenant, but they will want to keep the FBI as a tenant," said Raspanti.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman confirms that the property is scheduled for sheriff's auction July 25 to settle a $22 million debt.

"Whoever acquires a property wants a tenant, and the FBI is good for the money and I would rather have them then a lot of other tenants," said Raspanti.

But for now FBI officials seem confident they will be remaining in their lakefront headquarters.

Rubicon GSA New Orleans, LLC is actually headquartered in Chicago. We left messages with that company to see if it was going to allow the sheriff's sale to move forward, but we have so far not heard back.

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