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Social Security to merge LIC, Astoria offices

TimesLedger Newspapers

The U.S. Social Security Administration will be moving its offices from Steinway Street in Astoria and Crescent Street in Long Island City to a brand new building on 37th Avenue mere blocks from the N and Q lines.

The move is expected to happen in late 2012 or 2013.

“We have a lease signed for the Social Security,” said Abraham Philip, chief financial officer with Alma Realty, which owns the site.

Philip said the federal administration approached Alma Realty about a year and a half ago about moving out of its center on the fourth floor of 28-18 Steinway St. and setting up shop at 31-10 37th Ave.

He said Alma Realty, which also has offices at 31-10 37th Ave., will be constructing the office after Social Security’s architects approve the plans. Alma Realty will also install cable and other amenities in the building.

“We’ve not started the construction yet,” he said. “They’re maybe going to take another six months.”

John Shallman, a spokesman for Social Security, said the new site would consolidate services both from the Steinway location and the fourth floor of 42-15 Crescent St. in Long Island City into the 37th Avenue location.

“We’re trying to split the difference so it’s fair for everyone,” he said.

Shallman said no staff will be let go during the relocation and about 20 people will keep their jobs at the new center.

Details of what the new offices will look like have not yet been determined. Shallman said the process is in the early stages at the moment and the move may not be until the early winter of 2012 to 2013.

“It is quite a ways off,” he said.

Shallman said the move is routine since the offices are leased and the U.S. General Services Administration handles the move.

The site of the new offices at 37th Avenue is a mere block away from the 36th Avenue stop of the N train. Philip said this location will be more suitable for Social Security than its current site since it is at street level and is close to transportation as well as places to shop.

“The space is going to be very suitable to Social Security,” Philip said. “And it’s going to improve neighborhood businesses also.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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