Residents resist closure of landmark post office in Richmond, Calif.

SteveBlog

East Bay Times: Closing the main post office in Richmond, Calif., would strike a serious blow against the city’s neediest people as well as to a downtown business district on the brink of a boom, participants at a town hall meeting on Thursday agreed with virtual unanimity. It also would disconnect the city from an important piece of its architectural heritage and symbol of its Great Depression-, World War II- and Civil Rights-era history, they said.

At the meeting at the Nevin Community Center, speaker after speaker grappled with the logic of the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to move retail counter and passport services as well as P.O. boxes from the current location at 1025 Nevin Ave. near Harbour Way to the McVittie Annex at 2100 Chanslor Ave., currently used for back office space and carrier activities.

The McVittie Annex, at 2100 Chanslor Ave., would become the main retail outlet for postal services in Richmond under a plan to close the main post office downtown. (Tom Lochner)
The McVittie Annex, at 2100 Chanslor Ave., would become the main retail outlet for postal services in Richmond under a plan to close the main post office downtown. (Tom Lochner) 

The Art Deco-style main post office, built in 1938 under the New Deal, is near Richmond BART, the Macdonald Avenue business corridor, and a growing transit-oriented residential community also served by several AC Transit bus lines. The McVittie site, by contrast, is flanked by two dead-end streets, is not conveniently served by mass transit, and is cut off from downtown Richmond by the BART and Union Pacific railroad tracks, complicating pedestrian and bicycle access, speakers argued.  Read more.

For more about the Richmond post office, see these previous posts and check out the “Save the Richmond Post Office” page on RichmondMainStreet.org.

(Photo: The Richmond Standard)

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PRC dismisses appeal to stop relocation of the downtown post office in Grand Island, NE

SteveBlog

The Postal Regulatory Commission has dismissed an appeal to stop the relocation of the downtown post office in Grand Island, Nebraska.  In an order issued on June 15, 2017, the Commission explains that “the Postal Service’s actions regarding the Grand Island MPO constitute a relocation of postal services, over which the Commission has no appellate jurisdiction.”

The relocation has been controversial from the start, and residents expressed their opposition at a public forum with the Postal Service and directly to Congressman Adrian Smith.  The appeal had been filed in May by the Hall County Board of Supervisors.

The Postal Service will be relocating the downtown office to the Grand Island Processing and Distribution Facility, about 3.5 miles away.  The move will save the Postal Service the cost of renting the downtown location, since it owns the P&DF facility.  (According to the USPS Facilities Report, the annual rent is about $50,000.)  Read the order here.

 (Photo credit: News Channel Nebraska)
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Developer readies proposal to put restaurant in old Post Office in Princeton, NJ

SteveBlog

centraljersey.com: A developer is on track to go before the Princeton Planning Board next month with a proposal to put a restaurant in the old Post Office in Palmer Square, in reusing a 1930s building in the heart of an upscale shopping and dining district.

David Eichler, a California-based real estate businessman, was the winning bidder to obtain the parcel by beating out other suitors, including Palmer Square Management, although his winning amount was not disclosed. But he has had to navigate through more than three years of red tape to where he finally can seek approval for his plans to put Triumph Brewery, now on Nassau Street, into the building.  Read more.

For more about the sale of the historic Princeton post office, see these previous posts.

(Photo: CentralJersey.com)

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Postal Service plans to close the downtown post office in Mahwah, NJ, and relocate to carrier annex

SteveBlog

Mahwah, NJ Patch: The Postal Service is planning to relocate its downtown East Ramapo Avenue location in Mahwah, New Jersey,  to its other township facility at 46 Industrial Avenue — a move that township officials would rather not have occur.

The East Ramapo Avenue retail location is a about 8,200 square feet, which the USPS has leased since 1966, Post Office spokeswoman Maureen Marion said. The Postal Service Industrial Avenue’s annex is about 27,000 square feet and houses more than 60 delivery routes. The Post Office has been at that location since 1998.

Mahwah Mayor William Laforet said that many residents and business owners use the East Ramapo Avenue location on a regular basis.

“If they decide they want to move out of there, they have a right to do that,” said Council President Robert Hermansen. “I hope they don’t. I hope we can sit down and negotiate and we listen to each other and get them to understand why it is important they stay there.”  Read more.

There’s another story about the Mahwah post office in NorthJersey.com, here.

(Photo: Google Street View)

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Historic post office in Wrightsville, Georgia, closes for emergency suspension

SteveBlog

According to WMGT, the Postal Service has closed the historic post office in Wrightsville, Georgia, for an emergency suspension.  The news item does not say what caused the suspension or how long it might last.  A mobile unit near the post office will serve as a retail outlet, and delivery operations will be relocated to the Sandersville Post Office.

Emergency suspensions typically occur when there’s a problem with renewing the lease or conditions in the building have become unsafe.  There can’t be a lease problem in this case, however, since the Postal Service owns the Wrightsville post office, and if there’s a safety issue, it’s up to the Postal Service, not a landlord, to make the repairs.

The Wrightsville post office, located at 8648 S. Marcus Street, was built in 1938 under the New Deal.  The fact that it would suddenly close for an emergency suspension may be a sign that the Postal Service plans to close it permanently and sell the historic building.

Update, June 6, 2017: 12WMAZ.com reports that the Postal Service had identified problems with the building that led to the suspension.  Apparently even the former postmaster, who worked at that location for 42 years before retiring, was caught by surprise by the sudden closure.  The  current Wrightsville postmaster couldn’t elaborate on the problems or if employees still held their jobs

(Photo: Living New Deal)

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Hearing on planned Richmond CA post office closure set for Wednesday

SteveBlog

Richmond Standard: A public hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 31 on the U.S. Postal Service’s controversial proposal to close the historic Main Post Office branch at 1025 Nevin Ave in Richmond, California.

USPS is considering relocating services to the Richmond McVittie Detached Delivery Unit at 2100 Chanslor Ave.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Richmond City Council Chambers at 440 Civic Center Plaza.

A public notice about the meeting is currently posted at the Nevin Avenue branch (images below). We are grateful to the reader who snapped cellphone photos of the notice, alerting us to the hearing.

These plans are a cost-cutting measure, according to USPS, which says the increasing use of electronic communication has caused a decline in mail volume and thus a decline in revenue.

Plans to discontinue service at 1025 Nevin Ave. is facing opposition from residents and local elected officials, including Richmond City Council and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11). DeSaulnier has pushed for legislation to name the Nevin Ave. branch after Harold McCraw Sr., a former Richmond Postmaster and community leader. The congressman also took legislative action to demand adequate advanced notice of USPS decisions to close or relocate facilities.  Read more.

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Morristown NJ may buy its historic post office

SteveBlog

Morristown Green: It’s not your typical fixer-upper.

Walls are crumbling. Ceilings have gaping holes. Once-shiny brass fixtures hide under coats of paint. Bathrooms look like they have not been used–or cleaned–since the Wilson Administration, when the Morristown Post Office opened.

Still, town officials saw possibilities when they toured the place on Friday.

“I’m excited about the prospect of restoring this magnificent, sadly neglected facility,” said Morristown Administrator Jillian Barrick.

The Postal Service wants to sell the century-old building, which is virtually empty, and move its two-person retail operation to a smaller space within walking distance of the historic Morristown Green.

A handful of places within a few blocks of the Green might suffice, according to CBRE realty broker Geoffrey Schuber, who said Postal Officials plan to take a look very soon. In the meantime, he said he has shown the Post Office to almost a dozen potential buyers, including town officials.

Bidding could start within a week or two, Schuber said.  The facility contains about 17,000 square feet of space, he said, and comes with eight parking spaces. The Postal Service could not be reached for comment on Friday.  Read more.

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Historic post office building in Niles MI may become marijuana dispensary

SteveBlog

WNDU: A potential buyer has approached the city of Niles, Mich., about buying the former post office and opening a marijuana dispensary inside.  (According to Wikipedia, the Old U.S. Post Office in Niles was built in 1909 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.  The city of Niles took ownership of the building in 1983.)

It’s no longer of a question of if. Medical marijuana is coming to Nile whether you like it or not. But some questions remain, like “how?” and “where?”

The Niles City Council work group tried to figure out the answer to those questions Monday night.

After the meeting, it looks like they’re officially ready to start writing up an ordinance for each of the medical marijuana processes as it moves in at the end of the year.

The meeting was essentially filled with council members going back and forth with their opinions on how each of the 5 processes (grower, processor, secure shipping, provisioning center, safety compliance facility) should play out.

“I think we should let the market work and fill up these vacant spaces,” Mayor Nick Shelton said.

“I’m not a smoker, never have been,” Council member Charlie McAfee said. “But if I had cancer or whatever I would learn how real quick.”  Read more.

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Five Houston post offices saved, but one still on chopping block

SteveBlog

Houston Chronicle: After years of uncertainty, five neighborhood post offices in Houston have been given reprieves from closure but one station in west Houston’s Energy Corridor remains under review.

The news, revealed by the U.S. Postal Service this week, received a mixed reaction from Memorial Super Neighborhood President Greg Sergesketter, whose communities south of Katy Freeway stand to still lose the Fleetwood Station at 315 Addicks Howell, but learned that the Memorial Park Station on Town and Country – also in his jurisdiction – will be saved.

He said cutting post offices amid west Houston’s booming residential development – and with 90,000 employees in the Energy Corridor – seems counterintuitive.

“We certainly understand the post office is under financial issues, but we also understand you’ve got to look at the community and see if it really makes sense,” he said, speaking as an area resident and not on behalf of the Super Neighborhood. “Is it because the post office is not needed here?”

Sergesketter added that many area residents expressed opposition during a September 2015 meeting with Postal Service officials and later through letters.

“It was bad enough when we were going to lose Town and Country and then they put both on the chopping block,” he said. “We could never get a straight answer. Now we have one off the chopping block and that’s better.”  Read more.

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