Administration offices for the county's Social Services Agency, now scattered among four sites, would be united at a single location under a proposal that comes before the Board of Supervisors next week.
Under the plan, the agency would occupy eight floors of a 10-story building at 888 N. Main St. in downtown Santa Ana.
Officials said the move would result in operating efficiency by bringing agency personnel under one roof.
The rental cost in the new tower would be $1.27 a square foot, or about $118,000 a month, said Robert A. Griffith, director of the General Services Agency, and the rate would be guaranteed for 15 years.
By contrast, the average rent for the four buildings now being leased is $1.32 a square foot.
Though it would pay $13,000 a month more in the new location, Griffith said, the Social Services Agency would have 10,000 square feet of additional space.
The Board of Supervisors has expressed concerns about approving projects that appear to expand government as the county emerges from its late 1994 bankruptcy.
But officials said the proposal would actually result in savings.
"There will be administrative efficiencies to having people all at one headquarters instead of scattered around the county," Griffith said. "They would be more available to work on common projects."
If the proposal is approved, the owner of the tower would join with nearby property owners to build a new parking structure.