Another elected official has joined the chorus of voices demanding the United States Postal Service refrain from selling the landmark post office building at the corner of 149th St. and the Grand Concourse to the highest bidder and instead consider the community’s needs.
In a March 18 press release, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged the federal agency to meet with local residents to determine the majestic building’s fate. Gillibrand pressed the USPS to choose proposals that would transform the building into a space that would reap economic and cultural benefits for Mott Haven and the surrounding area.
“The sale of the historic Bronx post office, a neighborhood cornerstone, is an important decision that will deeply impact the future of the South Bronx,” said Gillibrand. “The community deserves a transformative space that will strengthen the borough and help grow the local economy.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who has opposed the proposed sale since 2012 when the Postal Service announced that a massive budget shortfall had forced its hand, reiterated his stance.
“In order to get the best possible project, in order to see the best possible ideas move forward, the USPS must include our community’s input on the future of this historic building,” said Diaz, noting that officials have met with developers who have presented “innovative ideas for this space. We do have options.”
In a letter to the Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, Gillibrand urged the agency to “work with local elected officials and community groups to fully understand and consider all viable uses for the facility by visiting the Bronx and hearing from the community before selecting a winning bid.”
She urged the selection committee to choose “developers who will utilize this space for public use and benefit. A wide variety of uses, many of which enjoy wide community support, have been considered for this site in the past and I ask that you to continue to consider these proposals.”
The Postal Service says it is reviewing about a dozen proposals that have been submitted before this week’s deadline, none of which have involved community input.