Last spring, a community meeting was held to discuss the future of the Broadway Post Office. There was talk of finding a new location on Broadway with a better facility for postal workers and a better experience for people coming in to mail a package or pick up their mail.
US Postal Service spokesperson Ernie Swanson says it’s not for lack of desire.
“For many years we’ve been looking to replace that station,” Swanson said. “There’s no parking for customers and no parking for employees. There’s lots of reasons to get out.”
But people familiar with the Capitol Hill real estate market tell us that USPS has backburnered its search due to the economic downturn’s impact on the service’s financial situation. Even with yesterday’s 2-cent increase for first class stamps, resources are constricted and the USPS doesn’t appear to be pursuing the move with the same amount of effort they showed last May.
Swanson confirmed the downshift. “We’d love to get something done,” Swanson said. “We’ve been looking into this. It’s been on a wishlist. But we don’t currently have anybody looking into any opportunity.” One possibilty to help make it easier to create a new post office is consolidating resources like sorting and vehicle parking at an off-Broadway location, Swanson said.
Mark Rozgay, the manager of the trust that owns the $1.2 million parcel of land at Broadway and Denny that the post office currently calls home, says his group is working on a plan to keep the facility at that location. “We’ve had numerous discussions with the college and the post office side of things,” Rozgay said. “We are either going to renovate the post office or build a new building with a post office.”
Rozgay said his group would like to work with Seattle Central to develop apartments for students at the location but that the damaged credit market is making things difficult to proceed. “We’ve been on hold because of the banking ad the economy issues,” Rozgay said. “It’s a desireable situation for a bank to loan on with a college and the post office potentially involved. But if we’re going to be rebuild, we need to make sure the financial conditions are there.”
Despite the financing challenges, Rozgay said he expects to have a plan in place in the next six months.
For the USPS, an improved Broadway post office can’t come soon enough. Swanson said Capitol Hill is a special challenge for what the USPS feels it needs to create a successful facility. “We’d like to be in a larger building, we’d like to have parking for customers for and our postal vehicles. In a highly developed area like Captiol Hil and Broadway, that’s part of the problem.”