If the Montclair Council had its way, the township would take control of the former Social Security Administration Office itself which has sat vacant for nearly a year.
On Tuesday, the council unanimously voted that the township is interested in acquiring the federal property located at 396 Bloomfield Ave.
“... The Township Council ... formally declares its interest in acquiring the SSA Property from the federal government,” read the resolution.
Neither Mayor Robert Jackson nor the council commented further on how the township will use the building if it were procured or how much it would cost.
Deputy Mayor Robert Russo said lobbying Congressman Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10th) would be “critical,” because the building is located within his congressional district.
“We have two congress members and two senators who we should reach out to ...,” said Russo about how the township could acquire the building. “Then maybe some lobbying may have to be done by us.”
The Social Security building, which has sat unused since it was shuttered in March 2012, was recently determined to be “surplus” property by the federal government.
The property is located in the heart of Montclair's business district. The stand-alone building with more than 20 parking spaces is across the street from a row of businesses and restaurants, and around the block from the Wellmont Theatre.
In accordance with federal law, the U.S. General Services Administration will be accepting applications and requests from public bodies and eligible nonprofit organizations to place a homeless shelter at the location until mid-April.
If no applications are received or proposals approved within that time, the property will be offered for sale according to its highest and best use.