Letters could save historic Lihue post office


Thegardenisland.com: The potential relocation of the Rice Street post office in Lihue, Hawaii, to the carrier annex by the airport is still up in the air.

And, representatives from the U.S. Postal Service met for two hours with about 25 people at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall Wednesday to clarify misinformation shared at the last public meeting in April.

“The man leading it said this wasn’t a financial or operational decision on the part of USPS,” said Greg Shelton, of USPS.

He continued: “The goal is to make everybody understand it’s not just about parking, or a tree. It is a financial and operational decision.”

USPS is operating at a $2 billion deficit as of last quarter, Shelton said, and the entity is looking at ways to consolidate and make operations more efficient.

Shelton and his team are on Kauai to convey that fact to the public and to encourage everyone with a stake in the issue to send in comments during the new, 30-day time period.  Read more.

(There’s more on the Lihue post office here.)


Local postal union, residents fight against sale of Harlem’s College Station Post Office


New York Amsterdam NewsThey tried and failed in Chelsea, but the United States Postal Service wants to sell off a post office building in Harlem and residents aren’t happy.

As the sale of the College Station Post Office on West 140th Street isn’t final, USPS Realty Asset Manager Gregory Lackey can’t say who he sold it to and how much they paid for it. If residents and the New York Metro Area Postal Union have their way, we’ll never know the name because the sale won’t go through.

“They tried to do the same thing at Old Chelsea and the community fought it,” said New York Metro Area Postal Union representative Chuck Zlatkin. “The Postal Service then tried to sell the air rights above the post office and keep the post office.” In this case, the post office is looking to relocate to a new leased facility on the landmarked Striver’s Row on 138th Street. Residents at a community hearing at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Central Harlem last night voiced opposition to the relocation, stating that Striver’s Row lacks the proper parking to accommodate a post office.

Zlatkin said that Lackey and company have tried to sell off the West 140th Street property for the past decade.

“It seems that since 2009, the post office has been wanting to sell that building and it’s a historic site,” Zlatkin explained. “The post office was built in 1937 and served the central Harlem community. In 2014, the Postal Service had public meetings to explain why they wanted to sell the building and there was a lot of negative reaction in the community. It got pretty quiet after that.”  Read more.


Morristown NJ moves to save iconic post office with $1.5 million purchase bid


Daily Record: The town of Morristown, New Jersey has submitted a $1.5 million bid to buy the century-old U.S. Post Office, a decaying, 19,000-square-foot facility by The Green that is listed on state and national historic registers.

“We want to preserve it and possibly use it for town functions or partner with some non-profits and bring it back to its glory. We have to be creative,” Mayor Timothy Dougherty said.

Dougherty said the town has not heard back from the U.S. Postal Service on its bid, and he acknowledged that a significant amount of money would have to be invested in repairing crumbling plaster and antiquated bathrooms and fixtures. He said the exterior and foundation is solid and the town possibly could apply for grants to help restore the interior.  Read more.


USPS workers have emerged as heroes in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico


With the Puerto Rico power grid shredded by Hurricane Maria, the U.S. Postal Service has taken the place of cellphone service at the forefront of island communications.

Only 15 percent of electrical power has been restored since the storm bludgeoned the U.S. territory on Sept. 20, but 99 of Puerto Rico’s 128 post offices are delivering mail. Tents have taken the place of post offices wrecked by Maria.

Mail carriers gather information on sick and elderly residents in far-flung parts where hospitals have closed. Data is fed into the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief office in San Juan so medical attention can be provided.

Restoration of the power grid is months away and many rural roads are blocked by mudslides, sink holes and downed trees and telephone poles. Since the start of the month the Postal Service has nonetheless been delivering letters and care packages to family members desperate for news.

“It’s been a clutch situation, and you guys have totally come through,” a FEMA worker was heard telling Postal Service Caribbean customer service manager Martin Caballero on Sunday.  Read more.


Chicago awards old Post Office preliminary landmark status, tax incentive


Curbed Chicago: Currently in the midst of a multi-year renovation into high-tech offices, Chicago’s 1930’s Main Post Office building was awarded a preliminary landmark recommendation at yesterday’s meeting of the City’s Commission on Landmarks. In addition to protecting the 2.8 million-square-foot Art Deco structure from future demolition, the move also enabled the project to receive a special tax assessment to aid in its restoration.

Known as a Class L incentive, the measure reduces tax assessments for landmarked buildings over a 12-year period with the caveat that the owner must invest at least half of the value of the property into an approved rehabilitation project. In the case of the old Chicago Post Office, taxes will be lowered a combined $53.2 million over the dozen-year life of the incentive.  Read more.

Source: Chicago awards old Post Office preliminary landmark status, tax incentive – Curbed Chicago


Could the downtown Grand Rapids, MI, post office finally be moving?


For years Grand Rapids city leaders have tried to negotiate a way to pry prime property from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the downtown area.

It hasn’t worked.

But now, multiple sources are telling WZZM 13 new discussions are underway between Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and the federal government to try to make a deal for the current post office located at 225 Michigan St. NW.

Grand Rapids city spokesman Steve Guitar sent us a statement Wednesday afternoon indicating “the city of Grand Rapids has not had any official conversations about the post office.”

That contradicts information from three different sources indicating there have been discussions.

David Frey, one of the outgoing chairs of Grand Action, the group that helped put together the Devos Place Convention Center and Van Andel Arena projects said Bliss is involved.

“The mayor is quietly working on the project,” Frey said.  “It’s a key parcel not only for the medical mile issue but a critical component for residential downtown living.”

Frey is optimistic this time it will get done.  Read more.