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Three years after the Tennessee Valley Authority bought the former headquarters of the Tennessee American Water Co., the utility has decided it doesn't need the space and will sell the 17,672-square-foot office next month.

In fact, TVA has never filled the two-story office next to its Chattanooga Office Complex at Broad and 11th streets. On Friday, a sign was put up in front on the vacant building advertising that the building will be sold at auction at 10 a.m. Sept. 3.

TVA shrinks its downtown footprint

* In November 2013-- TVA sold its vehicle fleet facility at 10th and Douglas Streets for $1 million

* In May 2015 -- TVA sold the Edney Building at 11th and Market for $1.3 million

* In September 2015-- TVA will sell its office at 11th and Broad Streets at auction.

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A man walks past the former Tennessee American Water Co. building at Broad Street and 11th Street on Friday, July 31, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said TVA purchased the building from an affiliate company of Luken Holdings in February 2012 to help TVA secure the entire block and to help handle deliveries to the power headquarters complex next door.

"Our plan then was to use the building as a delivery staging area for the TVA Chattanooga Office Complex," he said.

But since former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson became TVA's chief in January 2013, TVA has pared $500 million of annual operating expenses and cut its staff by about 2,000 jobs. Fielder said the entire TVA staff in downtown Chattanooga can now be housed in the Chattanooga Office Complex. At one time, TVA leased portions of at least a half dozen downtown offices for its employees.

"Under the current business plan, TVA has no need to purchase additional property," Fielder said.

The office will be the third downtown Chattanooga facility that TVA has sold in the past couple of years. TVA sold its fleet maintenance and storage facility on 10th Street in 2013 to make room for the Douglas Street apartment complex now under construction. TVA sold the Edney Building at Market and 11th Streets in May to a private development firm that will lease the facility to CoLab, the Enterprise Center and other office tenants.

TVA will sell the former Tennessee America Water building to the highest bidder on Sept 3. The utility has set a minimum bid of $865,000.

Tallan Properties built the two-story Broad Street office in 1978 and leased the building to Tennessee American until the water utility moved out in 2012. The water company, like TVA, has cut its Chattanooga workforce and is now headquartered in a single-story building at 108 Wiehl St., near its water treatment facilities off Riverfront Parkway.

The Broad Street building is located just across the street from the Public Library and only a block away from the Edney Building, which the Enterprise Center is renovating into the hub of Chattanooga's Innovation District.

Fiedler said interested bidders can get more information about the upcoming auction of the office at http://www.tva.gov/surplus/realestate.htm.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.

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