GI Federal Building Presents Unique Potential for Downtown Redevelopment


A building that’s been off touch, could help breathe new life into downtown Grand Island. The historic Federal Building may soon be available for apartments, shops and offices.

"It's interesting, it's different. It's something we don't see with new construction," Chamber of Commerce Pres. Cindy Johnson said.

It features classic architecture, and has many original features in tact.

"Unbelievable. It's a beautiful building," said Hall County Supervisor Gary Quandt.

The century old Federal Building holds unique potential for leaders in downtown Grand Island.

Johnson said, "Those folks' minds were going a mile a minute this morning because they're seeing that potential."

When word got out the feds may leave it vacant, Hall County spoke up, since it’s a half block from their courthouse.

Quandt said, "We need a juvenile court, there's already a courtroom in the building and if we could acquire the building, it would be great for downtown area."

Hall County needs space, so this is an obvious place to consider. But government offices aren't the only possibility.

Johnson said, "Someone envisioned residential space, someone envisioned office space, someone envisioned county government space so the possibilities are only as limited as the ideas."

Money’s the other limiting factor. The government may part with it for next to nothing. Depending on the use, some work may be needed, although it is well maintained.

"The building's ready to move in today," Quandt said, noting there are a few tenants, like Fish and Wildlife.

With 30,000 square feet, it could host a mix of uses. That’s why county leaders invited those in the business community to explore the options.

The city of Grand Island has been careful to say they haven’t formally expressed interest. The county has been more vocal, and county leaders say they’d like to include partners like the city and Chamber of Commerce.