Former e-bike shop lined up as planned new home for Central District post office

There is a plan for the Central District to get its post office back.

In a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan, the United States Postal service says it is working on agreement with the property owner of The Central building at 2207 E Union to take over the space being left vacant by the exit of electric bike dealership Electric Lady.

“If this location is not adequate or an agreement cannot be reached with its owner, the Postal Service will consider other sites within the preferred area as shown at the May 2, 2019, meeting,” the letter reads.

CHS reported on the May meeting with District 3 rep Kshama Sawant to discuss the need for a post office in the neighborhood and possible new locations after the 23rd and Union post office was displaced in preparation for development of the coming Midtown: Public Square mixed-use project on the property.

Lake Union Partners is the developer of the new Midtown project and also the landlord at The Central where the post office is now targeting for a new facility.

In the letter, the USPS says that services for area customers will continue to be provided at the Broadway post office location until a new location is opened near 23rd and Union. Postal officials have said it will take at least nine months to get a new location up and running.

UPDATE: Sawant has announced her office is holding a “community gathering” Wednesday night to celebrate the USPS decision. “Congratulations to the 662 community members who signed our Council Office petition – retirees, working people from all our communities, including African American, Asian, and LGBTQ people, postal workers, union members, young people, and small business owners – you all said, bring back our Central District Post Office!,” Sawant said in the announcement of the event. “Thanks to the Postal Service, and the dozens of you who wrote them letters, and the 80-plus people who attended the May 2 meeting my office organized at Garfield Community Center with US Postal Service officials.” According to Sawant’s office, Electric Lady owner Alex Kostelnik and community member Joanna Cullen who helped push for a new post office location near 23rd and Union will be in attendance.

Sawant & Community Claim Victory, Bring Post Office Back to Central District

Sawant congratulates hundreds who spoke up, invites community to celebration

SEATTLE – On Tuesday Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) announced that following hundreds of Central District community members attending a community rally and signing petitions, U.S. Postal Service officials have decided to establish a new Central District Post Office at 23rd and Union.

The new Post Office, which is expected to open later this year, will be across the street from the former Post Office, in the space that is currently occupied by the Electric Lady Bike Shop. U.S. Postal Service officials informed Councilmember Sawant of this news on Monday.

The Central District’s old Post Office closed last December, and at the time the Postal Service had no announced plans to replace it. The USPS has now announced the new plans following a May community rally co-hosted with Councilmember Sawant, and over 660 people signing a petitionlaunched by Sawant’s office.

“Congratulations to the 662 community members who signed our Council Office petition – retirees, working people from all our communities, including African American, Asian, and LGBTQ people, postal workers, union members, young people, and small business owners – you all said, bring back our Central District Post Office!  Thanks to the Postal Service, and the dozens of you who wrote them letters, and the 80-plus people who attended the May 2 meeting my office organized at Garfield Community Center with US Postal Service officials,” Sawant said.

Councilmember Sawant is holding a community gathering on Wednesday to celebrate the news:

  • WHAT – Community celebration and press conference
  • WHO – Councilmember Sawant, postal union members, and nearby residents who will tell their stories
    • Including but not limited to:
      • Alex Kostelnik, owner of the Electric Lady Bike Shop, where the new Post Office will be located
      • Joanna Cullen, a neighbor and community activist, who helped initiate the campaign to bring back the Post Office
      • Local residents who will speak from direct experience about what the return of the Post Office will mean to them
  • WHERE – Outside the Electric Lady Bike Shop – 2207 E. Union St., 98122
  • WHEN – Wednesday, June 12, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

“United, we spoke out – and now we’re getting our Central District Post Office back!” Sawant added. “The loss of our Post Office was another alarming sign of the gentrification of our historically people of color working-class community. The community that needs the Post Office is the same one that is struggling for affordable housing and fighting economic eviction. Our victory here, in winning back a new Post Office, is an important step in the right direction in the fight against gentrification. Let’s continue building a movement for rent control and social housing.”

 

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23 thoughts on “Former e-bike shop lined up as planned new home for Central District post office

    • They haven’t loaded in the CD for several years. They load at the PO at 98134. Only mail unsuccessfully attempted to deliver will go back there, if they keep doing it the way they have been.

  1. I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear that the postal needs of the elderly are being prioritized!

    This is clearly needed, as it’s not as if there isn’t a business like the Postman just blocks away on MLK!

    And Grandma’s need for constant access to postal services is now ensured!

    What a great use of resources!

    Parking is an issue though. Maybe when the church next to Ike’s sells they can build a parking garage with a 24/7 shuttle service to get Grandma to the new post office so her craving for postal services can be met?

    Now that seems like a community priority!

    • About 12-14 times a year, my employer needs to mail a certified letter. When the 23rd and Union post office was still open, I volunteered to mail the letters as it was on my way home. Every time I was at the post office, it was a pretty diverse group of people in line. There were people of all ages and ethnic/racial backgrounds. There were elderly people, but there were far, far more in the 25-60 age range. There were a lot people who were mailing multiple packages; some appeared to be doing it for business purposes. I am not sure where you are getting your information about postal customers, but it is very different from the actual customer base.

      • Well, the old post office had parking for older people to park at. Not the case here and I doubt anyone in the central will use it more than once a year. It’ll be an empty, dead space imo. Loss for the neighborhood and a bad call on the side of usps. But we all they’re rolling in it …

    • People keep spouting this patronizing BS about older people and mailing, and equating the private postal services with the USPS. Have you actually mailed anything from the Postman? I almost did. The small lightweight mailer I wanted to mail would’ve cost about 30-35% more from there than the USPS. The young lady at the counter explained that some packages would be more, some might be less due to contracts with FedEx or other shippers, but it’s not an equivalent. I was going to Broadway anyway so I opted not to. But I wanted to at least check it out after reading all the snarky and disdainful comments people on here were making about how silly it was to need a nearby, actual USPS location. Now, I think it’s great that they’re there, they seemed like wonderful people, and it’s a great business addition for the community. But it’s not an apples-to-apples equivalent. Let’s just cut the condescending snark, especially when you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Not sure how you make sense. You’re saying they’re priced way too high, but a great addition to the community? Sounds like you like to scan local and transact online.

      • It makes perfect sense if you read for comprehension. I said for the item *I* wanted to mail, that time, it would be 30 to 35% more. I also said for some services they would be more, and for some probably less. It depends on what you’re doing. They offer different services. It is not an apples to apples comparison. I do not believe it is a good substitute for a regular post office. That does not mean it is not a good addition to the community, especially if you need some different services they offer which they might do better than the post office.

    • i don’t get the feeling that this was really Lake Union Partners idea for a the USPS to be a tenant. THis was driven by residents in the neighborhood who went straight to Adam Smith the rep for our district.While USPS and The Postman have business that overlaps; The Postman offers more services and has the opportunity to be open evenings and weekends wh the USPS will not

      • A small group of vocal residents definitely pushed for this and Sawant got very involved too. I think LUP did this to appease this group to allow for a smooth Midtown Center 2 year plus construction project.

      • Honestly I think its an awful use of this storefront – mostly because now only Tacos Chukis will be the only biz open in the evenings and there will now be 2 dark storefronts framing the entry of the building – the USPS is a horrible retailer – their spaces are always a mess.

  2. Have any of you snarks been to the Post Office on Broadway lately? There are often lines out to the sidewalk and they are not old elderly people. They are a diverse group of students, small business owners, people who need PO Boxes, people shipping internationally and not wanting to get gouged by a for profit business like UPS, FedEx or even some other private postal place like Postman. Every neighborhood in the nation should be served by an accessible post office, not just the rich white neighborhoods.

    To suggest that people in this neighborhood who have been historically screwed by the white majority should just go use a for profit postal service is ridiculous. It’s basically saying screw you for living in the CD, you have to pay more for shipping now.

      • Ditto. And thank you to the community advocates who made this happen!

        I am very happy to hear that we’ll have access to a USPS location in the heart of the CD, which will undoubtedly be heavily used by people of all walks of life, just like it has been for many years, in an area that is estimated to receive 1,600 new housing units (a growth rate of 30%).

        Also am very happy that we have a local family owned business in The Postman that provides additional capacity for folks’ mail, package and shipping needs! They are great too.

        Hopefully the new Mid-town Center building is thoughtfully creating space for even more smaller, locally owned businesses to thrive, not just a huge Bartells.

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