Ocean County To Buy Land For Offices

The county, whose board of social services occupies six buildings now, will purchase four buildings to demolish and build one structure that will house all its social services offices. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

TOMS RIVER – The county plans to build a “replacement building” on the same spot that its current social services offices sit at 1027 Hooper Ave.

The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a $7 million appropriation for the land acquisition, design, engineering and permitting of that property in Toms River.

The county currently leases six buildings on that 14-acre lot from Grunin Properties. The county has leased those buildings for more than 30 years, County Business Administrator Carl Block told The Toms River Times. The buildings have aged beyond their usefulness, and the county desires to not only upgrade its facilities, but have everything in one building rather than six.

Photo by Jennifer Peacock

According to county records, in 2017, the county paid $3,411,593.69 in rent. The state pays a portion of the overall rent, in the amount of $500,000. The county also paid $539,153.20 in taxes and $219,412.26 in common area maintenance charges (utilities, etc.). The total costs for the year were $4,170,159.15.

This year, the county has paid $2,008,650.13 in rent, $407,968.90 in taxes, and $191,493.05 in common area maintenance charges.

The current lease expires June 20, 2022.

The county plans to purchase 10 acres and four buildings. The new building will be constructed where the current parking lot is. The plan is to seamlessly move offices from their old locations into the new building as it’s completed, so no services are interrupted during the construction and demolition.

Photo by Jennifer Peacock

Block said there are approximately 400 employees on that campus.

An estimate of the new building’s cost won’t be available until an architect is approved and hired to design the new building.