ADUR Council is aiming to put the Adur Civic Centre back on the market in September.
The council hopes to embark on a joint venture with a developer to turn the Ham Road site into rented housing.
Leader Neil Park said a number of ‘big players’ were interested in a deal, but it would take something special to win the contract to redevelop what he called ‘the gateway to Shoreham’.
“We are not just looking for the big money,” said Mr Parkin.
“If we wanted that, we could sell it to Aldi tomorrow.”
He said with the cuts to Government grants in mind, the council had to secure a revenue stream from the site, which was why it was pursuing a joint venture.
The flats on the Civic Centre side of the road would be private rented, with social housing provided on the staff car park side of the road.
The council hopes to have a public consultation in place by Christmas, with a preferred partner and potential designs.
“We have had lots of offers,” said Mr Parkin.
“Lidl wanted to go there, Aldi want to go there, but we ideally want a building that’s an entrance to Shoreham. We don’t know what we are going to get, but if it’s just a five-storey block, it’s not going to get selected.”
The plans will have to include business and office space on the ground floor a as flooding risks prohibit housing at ground level.
Mr Parkin said two-bedroom flats overlooking the river could fetch £1,200 a month each, which was preferable to a big lump sum in the bank.