Tag post office

White Flint Mall Post Office Closes this Friday

We’ve learned that the post office within White Flint Mall will close for good this Friday, April 11th. The office will relocate to the Nicholson Lane Plaza Shopping Center in July but they were unable to extend their mall lease to bridge the gap while the new space is built out. USPS officials tell us that demolition planned for their mall space prevents them from staying any longer.

In the meantime, post office boxes presently at the mall will be temporarily shifted to the location on Kensington Parkway. See below for the notice:

20140409_103456

Another Change for White Flint Post Office

We reported last month that the US Post Office housed in White Flint Mall would be moving to a location on Edson Lane.  Turns out, that won’t be the case after all.

We learned today that the USPS could not come to terms with the owners of the Edson Lane property and have now turned their sights to 5056-B Nicholson Lane (see below).  Although the USPS’s mall lease expires in April, they are hoping for a small extension as their plans are now set back.

Nicholson 2

Image from Google Maps

Located between Parklawn Drive and Nebel Street, the new location is a strip shopping center within the 20895 zip code.  Staying in the same zip code had been a stated priority for the USPS during the location selection process but the Edson Lane spot was actually in 20852.

nicholson 1

Image from Google Maps

 

New Post Office Location is Set

We just received word from the US Postal Service that they have selected their new White Flint location.  The post office will relocate from White Flint Mall to 5420 Edson Lane – on the other side of the Pike in a commercial zoned structure that looks like a house.  When we learn more about a timeline, we’ll share it here!

** Updated at 4:49pm: Depending on construction, the post office plans to relocate sometime in May.

** Updated on February 21, 2014:  The USPS has announced that they will NOT be moving to the Edson Lane location and have, instead, identified a spot on Nicholson Lane.  Read more by clicking here.

Where Should the White Flint Post Office Go?

As we’ve reported before, the US Postal Service is planning to leave White Flint Mall before it redevelops and they’re looking for a new site for our local post office.  Options are limited, though, because many of the prime possibilities are also slated for redevelopment and, therefore, not ideal for the 5-year lease the USPS seeks.  Prioritizing parking and access, the USPS is looking at the following locations:

  • 5420 Edson Lane
  • 5000-5060 Nicholson Lane – Nicholson Plaza
  • 11760 Parklawn Drive – Parklawn Commerce Center
  • 11601-11631 Nebel Street – Flint Hill Building

 

Here’s what the USPS says about the locations have have already been rejected:

  • White Flint Mall: The Mall redevelopment will not be completed for 2-3 years.  It is not an operationally feasible or economically viable alternative to operate a Postal facility in a construction redevelopment site.
  • 11520-11560 Rockville Pike – Metro-Pike Center: Building to be redeveloped.  Landlord will only lease space for 2 years or until redevelopment begins.

 

I’m most excited about the Nicholson Lane location – I think it offers the best parking and access of the options identified.  But, let us know what you think!  The USPS will be open to comments for the next 30 days.  Either leave your comment here to be included in our letter or email them yourself at richard_a_hancock@usps.gov.  Read their full letter on the subject by clicking here.

Another update on the post office

As BethesdaNow.com and the Gazette reported, the United States Postal Service sent another letter which serves as final notice that the post office currently located in White Flint Mall is moving, although the final location is still yet to be determined. According to the letter, they plan on providing the same services as the current location (which we were told at the community meeting held by USPS would involve retail services with two counters), and would like to stay as close to their current site as possible and within the same zip code.

The letter acknowledges that some who wrote to the USPS expressed a preference for the post office to remain in the mall, while others expressed concern about parking and convenience. However, the post office will be unable to remain in the mall due to the redevelopment of that property. The post office’s lease is up May 31, 2014, although the letter states that, “the Postal Service plans to continue services at the existing White Flint PO until the replacement facility is open and operating as a Post Office.”

Read the full letter here. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about this important development. In the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments!  Where do you think the post office should go?

An Update on the White Flint Post Office

On July 10th, the US Postal Service hosted a meeting to discuss the possible relocation of the post office at White Flint Mall.  Although we were told  that public comment on the subject was welcome for 30-days, the USPS transmitted a letter outlining their decision yesterday, August 1st.  Addressed to Ken Hartman, Director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, the letter states that “[a]fter further assessment and input from community members, the Postal Service is proceeding with its new facilities project.  In the near future, we will be reviewing potential sites for the new post office.”  Read the full letter here.

The letter continues to say that the community will remain informed as a new location is selected and that any member of the community may appeal or comment on this decision within the next thirty days.  Now confused about what thirty days means to USPS, Friends of White Flint sent an email this evening to USPS Real Estate Specialist Richard Hancock to learn more.  While we would have liked to see the post office remain at the White Flint Mall location, it is our primary concern that this important amenity remain somewhere within the Sector boundaries.  In an abundance of caution, we did lodge an appeal of the decision and, once we have a better idea of how far afield USPS is considering moving their facility, we will reassess.

Your thoughts and comments on this development are welcome!

Advocate for a Great White Flint

Looking for Ways to Get Involved and Ensure White Flint Reaches its Potential?

Then, we have two great opportunities for you – and you don’t even need to leave the keyboard.

First, having a post office located in the White Flint sector is not only an important amenity, it’s also key to building our identity.  The US Postal Service presently holds a lease at White Flint Mall that’s set to expire in less than a year and they have begun a public vetting process for choosing their new site.  Community input is critical to ensuring that we keep this important service nearby.  So, by August 9th, please send an email to Richard Hancock at Richard.A.Hancock@usps.gov.  Let him know that you want to keep a post office in the White Flint Sector in Montgomery County, MD!

Second, Friends of White Flint is dedicated to ensuring that the promises made during the White Flint planning process are kept during the implementation and build-out. We hold property owners and developers to these expectations and we hold our public entities to them, as well.  At this point, infrastructure is key and the funding for these projects – like the roads that will diffuse traffic from Rockville Pike and the beautiful green spaces – has not been designated.

At this time of year, the County Executive is creating his Capital Improvement Projects budget and we need him to know that White Flint projects cannot be delayed any longer.  The projects added to this budget are placed in a six-year cycle, so we need to get them on the list NOW.  So, please email Ike Leggett at ocemail@montgomerycountymd.gov, and include the County Council at county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov, to tell them that infrastructure must keep up with development.  Ask them to fund the Western WorkaroundWall Park, the Civic Green and the new Eastern Workaround (where Executive Boulevard will cross over Rockville Pike, just north of White Flint Mall).

You can also tell Mr. Leggett yourself.  He’s hosting a public budget forum on Tuesday July 30th from 7pm-8pm at the Bethesda/Chevy-Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda).

If we don’t ask for these things, we may not get them.  Your engagement is key!  Thank you for taking the time!

Tell the USPS where you want White Flint’s post office to be

On Wednesday, the United States Postal Service held a meeting to gather input from the community on where the post office, currently located in White Flint Mall, will be. USPS currently has a lease with the mall, which ends on May 31, 2014. USPS was under the impression that Lerner, who owns White Flint Mall, would be happier if USPS vacated the mall sooner. However, Francine Waters of Lerner Enterprises clarified that the company was very interested in keeping USPS as a tenant; though not in their current location.

Richard Hancock, a USPS Real Estate Specialist, lead the meeting. He explained that even though he now understood that Lerner was happy to negotiate with USPS, the Postal Service is still required to have an open competitive process, and community outreach is a part of that process.

The public outreach process is begins with a 30 day period, to begin after the meeting to request comments (Wednesday’s meeting) from the community. USPS will then present a list of sites being considered, and hold another 30 day comment period. After the second 30 day comment period, a USPS site review committee will meet and choose a site. The public will then have another 30 day “appeal” comment period. Only after the third and final comment period can USPS have a lease – no commitments can be made until after final notification.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Service Center Director Ken Hartman asked if USPS was looking to keep its Kensington address. Hancock clarified that USPS wants to stay as close to where they are now as possible, with economic and operational viability as key factors. The zip code of the post office may change. In response to a concern raised about service stopping, Hancock said that would only happen in the event of an emergency.

While USPS wants the store to be convenient, there are usually no parking/building specifications for pre-existing spaces; USPS will look at the pros and cons of each site, and parking is just one consideration. There will be no changes to deliver patterns; this is a cut and dry retail operation, though trucks will need to have access. Hancock said he had no control over the hours of the store, explaining that the hours of stores in leased spaces often depends on the hours of the building. However, if you have preferences as to the hours – or any other aspect of the post office – Hancock instructed the group to write to him and he will forward the information to the proper people (see instructions below).

The lease will be a 5 year lease with a 5 year renewal option, which is standard when USPS rents a pre-existing space. The retail post office will be about 1200 square feet with 2 counters – a point Hancock made several times, noting that 2 counters was unusual for a small space. Many people present at the meeting urged Hancock to take into consideration the many new residents slated to move to the area; he replied that USPS planners project out 10 years to account for such increases. Hancock implied that USPS was previously unaware of the sector plan, but said that learning about these things is part of the outreach process.

Comments must be sent directly to Richard Hancock in writing. He suggested that location recommendations be targeted and specific. We urge you to email

richard.a.hancock@usps.gov

And/or write to:

Richard Hancock

PO Box 27497

Greensboro NC 27498-1103

Your voice counts! And, to make sure it counts, be sure you get your comments in before August 9!

We will keep you informed as this process moves forward.