Community Brainstorms to Save Post Office

The Save the La Jolla Post Office Community Task Force met Thursday night to provide an update to the community and seek creative solutions to save the La Jolla Post Office that has been slated to be relocated by the U.S. Postal Service.

More than 100 community members came out Thursday night to show support for keeping postal services at the La Jolla Post Office and to maintain the historic features of the 77-year-old building on Wall Street.

The Save the La Jolla Post Office Community Task Force panel of community leaders provided an update at the on the proposed relocation of services and possible sale of the building. The panel included Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, community leader Joe LaCava and Leslie Davis, interim chair of the La Jolla Historical Society.

The U.S. Postal Service announced in January plans to relocate postal services in 92037. It identified the La Jolla Post Office as “a value asset whose potential sale would generate much needed capital for the Postal Service.” It said the Post Office would be relocated to a smaller location within 1 mile of the current site. It said, P.O. box numbers will remain the same and hours of operation will remain the same, only the location will differ.

The Postal Service cited the continued economic recession and decrease in mail volume over the past several years as adversely affecting the Postal Service’s revenue as the cause of the planned relocation and proposed sale of the building.

On Thursday, the Postal Service told La Jolla Patch it was still in the process of conducting the appraisal of the property. The County of San Diego does not assess the property because it is federally owned. In addition, the Postal Service said it would not release the appraised value when complete.

“We do not typically list a price to encourage competition,” a representative said.

However, the property is likely valued at $2.5 million to $4 million, according to Davis.

“Recognizing that the Postal Service is in a dire financial state, there is a strong possibility that they will proceed with the sale of the property–no matter how much we object. We have a very small window of opportunity right now to identify potential buyers and ideas for our community vision for the space that will allow the building to be preserved,” said Lightner.

Patch asked the Postal Service if an interested party has stepped forward to express interest in purchasing the property. A representative said, “Not formally. Nothing in writing. We are not giving tours until it is on the market."

In addition to the task force looking for a potential buyer to preserve serves and the building, it is also applying for a historical designation to preserve the building.

“It is historic to us as a community. It is not recognized officially,” said Davis. “It is 77 years old and it could be torn down without any problems.”

The Postal Service will host a community meeting April 26. A time and location have yet to be determined. The public can submit written comments for 30 days following this meeting. The Postal Service will make a final decision about the relocation and possible sale on May 26. The decision is then followed by a 15-day appeal period, according to the task force.

The La Jolla Historical Society said you could help save the Post Office in the following ways:

  • Signing the petition to the Postal Regulatory Commission.
  • Call, write or fax the U.S. Postal Service and asking them to stop the relocation. The organization provided the following contact: Diana K. Alvarado, Vice President of Facilities, Pacific Facilities Service Office, 395 Point Blvd., Suite 225, South San Francisco, CA 94080-0300.
  • Call, write or fax your elected officials.
  • Donate to the La Jolla Historical Society’s Preservation Fund. The Preservation Fund will fund the preparation of documents for Historic Designation of the Building, legal council, administrative fees and other preservation efforts.
  • Volunteer for the Save the La Jolla Post Office Task Force. Volunteer efforts might include fundraising, distributing flyers, collecting signatures.
  • Spread the word and get others involved.
  • Stay informed at savelajollapostoffice.org.

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