The Legislative Counsel Bureau wants to buy the Capital Apartments building south of the Legislature.
Executive Director Lorne Malkiewich said the idea is to sign a lease option agreement now to hold the property until the full Legislature meets next year and can fund the $1.2 million purchase.
Capital Apartments is the only piece of property on that block, which also includes the Sedway Building which houses most legislative staff offices, that isn't state owned.
Malkiewich said the opportunity is there now because the apartment complex is in bankruptcy proceedings.
"Opportunities come up unscheduled," he said. "We could probably let the executive branch use about half the units until we grow into it."
He will ask permission to sign a lease when the Legislative Commission meets in two weeks.
He said the lease will probably cost the state less than $10,000 a month.
The total cost would be $1.2 million to buy the building - less depending on negotiations, he said - plus about $500,000 to renovate and remodel it.
Malkiewich said that would be up to the full Legislature to decide on, but that a six-month lease agreement would "put it on hold" for the state.
He said LCB needs the space for its growing staff, which now numbers about 230 permanent employees plus another 78 or so when the Legislature is in session.