The Port of Benton agreed this week to buy a $1 million building in Richland for its new port offices.
Commissioners unanimously approved the deal after deciding to buy and remodel an existing property rather than building an office from scratch.
SAIC is offering to sell the port it's building at 3250 Port of Benton Boulevard for $1 million, said Port Executive Director Scott Keller.
"It's $40 a square foot," Keller said, of the 24,000-square-foot building. "It's unbelievable."
The sale is still contingent on an engineering and architectural review.
Keller said, in addition to the purchase being a good deal, the location is great because it's near the port's USS Triton Sail Park.
SAIC's building was built in 1994, and is in good shape, Keller said. The renovation, including new paint and carpet, will cost about $500,000 and will be done this winter.
SAIC has been working on a large environmental study at Hanford for the Department of Energy.
The port's initial plan to build a new office along the Columbia River waterfront could have cost $4 million, Keller said.
Port Commissioner Jane Hagarty said she would much rather spend less and buy an existing building.
Keller said port staff will occupy the north half of the building, leaving the rest available to rent. The port could possibly collect $200,000 a year in lease fees.
The port also plans to lease the space it currently occupies at 3100 George Washington Way, Keller said. Current tenants would like to use the space once the port offices are moved.
SAIC would like to continue using about 25 percent of the building for up to three years, he said.
Keller said the port has $440,000 saved to buy the property this year, and plans to borrow the rest.