Social Security building for downtown still underway

A demolition company uses a large backhoe to tear down the old Bank of America building Tuesday on the corner of Monterey Road and Fourth Street.

Plans to bring a Social Security building downtown – a move applauded by the Chamber of Commerce in the past for its potential to make downtown a visitor destination – are still underway, but not without a few kinks.

The property, at Monterey Road and Fourth Street, is being demolished because the repairs to the existing building were becoming too costly for the property owner, according to Kristi Abrams, community development director. 

“His original plan was to use the portion of the building but estimates for repair construction were too expensive,”Abrams said. 

The property’s asset manager, Dan Shaw, has signed a “complicated” 128-page lease with the US government that indicates a Social Security office will occupy the building upon inspection when the building is complete.

No date for completion is written in the lease, Shaw said. 

“We are working with staff of the city to get the building done,” he said.

Susan Valenta, president of Gilroy’s Chamber of Commerce, has told the Dispatch in the past that a Social Security building would be a huge boost for downtown, in that it could become an “anchor” for attracting visitors for an afternoon of shopping or dining. 

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