Martin’s Point Healthcare wants to buy the former Hamlin Elementary School at 496 Ocean St. in South Portland and build a medical office building.

Martin’s Point executives pitched the idea Monday evening at a City Council workshop, where councilors and several neighbors expressed concern about preserving community gardens and other open space on the three-acre property.

No formal proposal has been submitted, but Martin’s Point executives said the size of the medical office building would be 12,000 to 14,000 square feet, said City Manager James Gailey.

Located on Route 77 at the Sawyer Street intersection, the former school currently houses the city’s Planning and Development Department. City officials weren’t looking to move the planning department, Gailey said, but it was considered a temporary home.

If Martin’s Point decides to move forward with its effort, city officials have stipulated that the healthcare group would have to secure a suitable alternative site for the planning department and move it at no cost to the city, Gailey said. Also, any redevelopment plan would have to incorporate the community gardens.