The Postal Service has decided not to pursue the sale of the historic post office in Richmond, California, built in 1938 under the New Deal.
In a letter to the Office of Historic Preservation of the California State Department of Parks and Recreation, USPS Federal Preservation Officer Daniel Delahaye explains that “after careful analysis of changing marketing conditions,” the Postal Service has “determined it will not pursue the potential disposal of this Property at this time. If the USPS determines in the future that conditions are appropriate to pursue a disposal undertaking, it will reinitiate Section 106 consultation.”
The Postal Service had originally announced its plan to sell the historic post office back in January 2017. The sale was opposed by many neighborhood residents, the business community, and civic organizations like Richmond Main Street Initiative and the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, as well as elected officials, including the Office of Mayor Tom Butt, the Richmond City Council, and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11).
In May 2017, the Postal Service held a meeting about the proposed relocation of retail services from the landmark property to another USPS facility (the Richmond McVittie Detached Delivery Unit at 2100 Chanslor Ave.)
A rally opposing the sale was held in June 2017, but the Postal Service continued with the disposal process, and in August, a notice announcing the pending sale was posted on the front door of the post office. In December (perhaps sooner), the property was listed for sale on the new JLL-USPS Properties for Sale website (the listing has since been removed).
It’s not clear why exactly, aside from “changing marketing conditions,” that the Postal Service decided not to continue with its plan to sell the building. But the decision will come as a welcome news to all those who worked to save the Richmond post office.