Despite community opposition, the U.S. Postal Service says it has decided to close the Richmond Main Post Office at 1025 Nevin Ave.
Services will be relocated to 2100 Chanslor Ave., known as the McVittie Detached Delivery Unit, according to a letter from Tom Samra, vice president of facilities for USPS, sent to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. The full letter is posted below.
The letter called the decision “final.” It came after growing opposition to the closure from Richmond elected officials, community leaders, residents and also a public hearing and public comment period.
“The Postal Service has carefully considered all of the concerns expressed at that meeting, as well as in the appeals and comments received after the public meeting,” the letter states.
But Mayor Butt says the letter is wrong to state that the decision to close the branch is final.
“This is still very much a work in progress,” the mayor said Friday. “Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and I are in negotiation with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) at the highest levels to find a solution that will be a win-win for both the USPS and the City of Richmond.”
Butt said the sale cannot happen for months to years given a number of forthcoming regulatory requirements.
The mayor added: “USPS policy allows for a sale to state and local governments instead of competitive bidding. The USPS is also willing to allow the existing operation to remain at 1025 Nevin Avenue as long as it is economically attractive to the USPS.”
Operational savings are driving the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to relocate. USPS officials have blamed a decline in mail volume and an increase in electronic communication for reducing the federal department’s revenue, leading to cost-cutting measures.
Advocates of the Nevin Avenue branch, including the Richmond Main Street Initiative, which is tasked with an ongoing revitalization of the downtown corridor, argue the building, first constructed in 1938, is historic and centrally-located near transportation lines, unlike the McVittie Detached Delivery Unit.
Samra’s letter says the McVittie facility has better parking than Nevin Avenue, which helped the agency’s decision to relocate.