2011-11-18 / Community

New Social Security Office Set For West End

By Howard Schwach

The new Social Security Administration building on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 113 Street. The new Social Security Administration building on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 113 Street. Those west enders who are accustomed to travelling to Central Avenue in Far Rockaway to do business with the federal government’s Social Security Office will soon have a shorter travel to do that business.

Lots of local residents were surprised when the construction fence came down two weeks ago on the site that was once the Rockaway Rugby Clubhouse on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 113 Street. There was speculation that the site would become another bar or nail salon.

When the fence came down, however, it was revealed that the new building was set to be an office for the Social Security Administration, replacing its Far Rockaway office, which has been on Central Avenue for two decades.

“This is a routine move for us,” said John Shallman, a spokesperson for the federal agency. “A lease expires and the landlord wants to look elsewhere, you find a new place to go.”

Shallman said that the building is being constructed by the federal General Services Administration which will then lease it to Social Security.

When told that there is little on-street or off-street parking near the new facility, Shallman said, “In New York City, we don’t look for parking. There is no parking in the city. We look instead for public transportation and the new building is on a bus route and right around the corner from the subway.”

There is no timeline for the new facility to open, however.

The building is finished, as is the new sidewalk in front of the building. What remains is the infrastructure and electronic equipment that tie the building to the rest of the federal network.

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