The Whangarei District Council is considering moving its headquarters from Forum North to an as yet unidentified site in the city centre.
NorthTec, in turn, may occupy Forum North if the council moves out.
The motive for the council is to get most of its 350 staff under one roof.
At present, 122 staff are based at Forum North, 163 at Walton Plaza between Albert St and Railway Rd, and 37 in the Civic Arcade in Lower Bank St.
Others are at the public library, the water treatment plant at Whau Valley, the wastewater treatment plant in Kioreroa Rd, and at Ruakaka.
If the council moves into purpose-built leased premises, its new lease may be covered by the present rent paid at Walton Plaza and the Civic Arcade and money it would receive by leasing most of Forum North, which opened as the Whangarei City Council headquarters in 1982.
Council group manager support services Alan Adcock said if the council moved, it would be essential for it to retain ownership of Forum North and control of Capitaine Bougainville Theatre - both council strategic assets.
The theatre had been built with public donations to the Northland Theatre and Arts Fund and with $450,000 provided by the former Northland Harbour Board.
NorthTec had shown interest in tenancy of the Forum North site, Mr Adcock said. Government departments were other possible tenants.
About 20 potential sites had been examined for the proposed new council building, but a selection had not yet been made.
Stressing there was "nothing on the table" about the possible move, and public consultation would be essential for changed use of strategic assets, Mr Adcock said the council would consider adding the proposal to the Draft Annual Plan at its meeting on Thursday.
He said the proposal could help revitalise the Whangarei CBD, particularly if it brought NorthTec students into the city centre.
NorthTec chief executive Paul Binney said from Melbourne yesterday that the polytechnic had not yet decided to move, and if it did Forum North was only one of the potential sites it would consider moving to.
A shift had been discussed by NorthTec management, but nothing on the topic had yet gone to the Government.