Community group B-Hive is trying to have Berkhamsted Civic Centre placed on the new List of Assets of Community Value.
Owner Dacorum Borough Council would then have to notify its leaders of any plan to sell the site and allow them time to find the money to place a bid.
B-Hive would first need 21 signatures to get the civic centre on the register, where it would stay for at least five years. The application would come from parent group Transition Town Berkhamsted.
To learn more about the plan, phone leader John Bell on 07811 379938.
Dacorum Borough Council says B-Hive is more than welcome to apply for the registration, but that it has no plans to sell the civic centre anyway.
Commercial assets group manager Michael Evans said: “We are not selling anything off.
“We have been talking to B-Hive, because they have got some interesting ideas about developing the area, and we have got some ideas as well.
“But there are no tangible ideas - it is not one of the priorities for the area and we are certainly not looking at selling anything.”