A Royal Oak-based U.S. Social Security Aministration office will soon have a new home in Clawson.
Builders and architects plan to break ground next month for the building at the corner of 14 Mile and Crooks, just north of Gordon Food Service, said James Albus, Clawson's building and planning director.
Officials said the new building in Clawson will be larger than the Royal Oak office located on 11 Mile Road near Campbell. Doug Nguyen, spokesman for the U.S. Social Security Administration's Chicago region, said the office needs more space to accommodate a secured reception desk and updated systems technology.
"We have to keep pace with the increasing need for our Social Security services," Nguyen said.
Social Security offices handle requests for Social Security cards — original, replacement and cards reissued due to name change — as well as applications for retirement, Medicare, disability and death benefits. The offices also answer questions regarding prescription drug benefits.
The lease at the 11 Mile building expired in 2007, and the Social Security Administration has been getting extensions since then.
Albus said the new building will be about 11,000 square feet with brick exterior and "beautiful landscaping."
"They might have it built before wintertime and have it fully occupied by 2012," Albus said.
There are currently only three Social Security branch locations in Oakland County. They are in Farmington Hills, Pontiac and Royal Oak.
Carl Anderson of Troy, who needs to visit a Social Security office twice a year, said he's all for the new Clawson location, which is closer to his home — but he wishes the administration would keep the Royal Oak office.
"The parking is always full. They could use another office. This is a very busy place," Anderson said of the Royal Oak location. "They should keep this office and add a new one. "
The Royal Oak branch will continue to operate until the new building is complete, and then it will close.