Local lawmakers and city officials are launching an effort to keep the Richmond Main Post Office at 1025 Nevin Ave. open, after the U.S. Postal Service posted a notice about plans to close and sell the branch.
The public notice about the planned closure was posted Jan. 25. USPS has deemed the nearly 16,500 square foot building to be “excess” and “no longer necessary for postal operations.” The property will be sold at market value, the notice added.
The notice says residents concerned over the closure can contact Jody Lowe, USPS real estate specialist, at USPS Facilities Office, PO Box 27497, Greensboro, NC, 27498-1103.
Augustine Ruiz, a USPS spokesperson, confirmed the planned closure.
“We are proposing to sell the building,” Ruiz told the Richmond Standard. “We are following our due diligence by posting the notice for public comment. Following our current procedures, we try to get the public comment before we initiate a sale, and the current posting is to allow us to start the process.
The process, Ruiz added, will involve a future public meeting to discuss relocating the operation. This is “part of the process to consolidate the retail operation into another facility that does not now provide retail services,” Ruiz said.
Since the notice’s release, city and elected officials have launched efforts to keep the branch open, saying the historic building is vital to residents as well as the revitalization of Richmond’s downtown.
Councilmember Eduardo Martinez has placed a resolution opposing the closure on the Feb. 7 City Council agenda, according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt.
In his e-forum newsletter Wednesday, the mayor encouraged community members to contact Congressman Mark DeSaulnier‘s office and Richmond Post Master Gurpreet Sohal, (510) 874-8252.
“The post office serves residents and local businesses in the heart of Richmond and is in close proximity to the transportation hub at the Richmond BART Station,” according to a city advisory. “Should this closure take place, the alternative locations are in Point Richmond and San Pablo. Both locations are smaller offices with minimal parking.”
The city recently lost the Station A Post Office at 200 Broadway. Such a closure poses significant hardships to seniors, the city said.
“Access to a retail Post Office is necessary for nearby residents, visitors and businesses for the purposes of accessing post office boxes, mail-box drop-off, passport applications and other retail postal service,” the advisory added. “Please join the City of Richmond in opposing the closure of the Post Office at 1025 Nevin Avenue by calling the postmaster and/or writing a letter to voice your concerns.”
The closure announcement comes at the same time as DeSaulnier has been pushing for legislation that would name the Main Post Office after Harold McCraw Sr., a former Richmond Postmaster and community leader.