If you’ve driven downtown in the past few months and noticed construction going on at the old Bank of America building on Central Avenue, between 8th Street North and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Street North, you might be curious as to what’s going on there. I was. The building had been slated for demolition, and a grand new condominium, The Arts, was going to be built on that site. But you know the story – the economy slumped and new projects were cancelled. So the building sat, empty, for awhile, but now there are signs of life. Not only is the building itself being renovated, but there’s a new parking garage being constructed, too. I kept watching for some sort of sign, either literal or figurative, that might tell me what’s going on there, but I never found one.
So, I finally did a little digging online, and learned that it is to become a new administrative hearing and appeals office for the Social Security Administration. Currently, the closest hearing office is in Tampa, and there is a large backlog and waiting period for cases to be heard. To address that, this new office is being built. I was unable to learn whether the ‘regular’ social security office, currently on 34th Street North, will also move its operations to this new center.