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Postal Service OKs Santa Monica Closure

The community has 15 days to appeal the decision

The U.S. Postal Service has approved the widely unpopular closure of Santa Monica's New Deal-era Post Office, the agency announced Friday.

Its retail, bulk business mail service and P.O. boxes will relocate less than a mile away to carrier annex on Seventh Street, enabling the USPS to sale the historic downtown property. A date has not yet been determined.

"This building sale is part of a nationwide response to the USPS financial crisis," spokesman Richard Maher. "The Postal Service is doing everything it can to generate revenue, reduce costs and operate more efficiently in order to maintain universal service to every community in our nation."

On Fifth Street between Wilshire Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, the Main Post Office was built by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Projects Administration. It opened with pomp—red, white and blue bunting strung across the lawn—in July of 1938.

The decision comes after about 50 people attended a public meeting in July to voice opposition to the closure. They told USPS representatives the main post office on Fifth Street is not only historic and beautiful, but also convenient, especially for senior citizens and residents without cars.

They likened the location of the annex facility to the desert.

RELATED: RESIDENTS TO FIGHT 'LIKE HELL' AGAINST POST OFFICE CLOSURE

The decision also comes after USPS announced a loss of $5.2 billion in the third quarter of its fiscal year ending June 30.

"Contributing significantly to the quarter’s $5.2 billion loss was $3.1 billion of expense for the legislatively mandated prefunding of retiree health benefits," the agency said in a press release. "These expenses, along with the continued decline of first-class mail volume, more than offset the quarter’s 9 percent  growth in revenue from shipping services and package delivery."

It's estimated the Santa Monica relocation will save the Postal Service $3.36 million over 10 years.

The community may appeal the decision within 15 days to:  

Vice President, Facilities Pacific Facilities Service Office

1300 Evans Ave. Ste. 200

San Francisco CA 94188-0200 

The USPS categorizes the Santa Monica closure as a "relocation" and has approved six already in California. The only other relocation approved so far in Los Angeles is in Venice. 

Similarly, a wide range of community members h and its historic mural known as the "Story of Venice," or the "First Thirty Years of Venice's History," that is one of two remaining murals by artist Edward Biberman.

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j pena August 17, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Is there any point in fighting? None of my neighbors even know this is happening. We had no input at any time and at the last minute there are a couple of articles that give NO DIRECTION as to what a Santa Monican can do.. meanwhile the heart of the city, a historical building is being sold off to some wealthy developer or another. This is OUR FUTURE in Santa Monica, the city will be sold to the highest bidder
oboogie August 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM
appeal. save this landmark. don't let them take it away from us!!!
Dolores Sloan August 17, 2012 at 05:49 PM
The Post Office building is an icon of Santa Monica. It is an anchor in the consciousness of residents who appreciate a solid piece of evidence remaining of the city that attracted us for its balmy, California ocean ambience (with those elegant tall palm trees) and low-scale lifestyle. When I first saw Santa Monica in 1950 on a car trip from New York, there was even a touch of the Old West, with riders on horses in a parade on Ocean Avenue. Now, two or three blocks away from the Post Office, the insanity of two relatively large-scale hotels will be a reality in a short time. Please, let us keep the post office building AS the post office building, still functioning as such. Remember what happened to the Fox Theatre on Lincoln in Venice, that many of us fought to save from being torn down? Well, it was saved, then sold and look what it is now: a tawdry display of swap-meet type stalls. If the Post Office building is sold, who can guarantee what the buyers will do to it? Can historic preservation status save this icon? Sorry to repeat what has become ubiquitous, but I can't help think "they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot."
Dan Charney August 17, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The Post Office is a hell of a lot better than the privatized UPS, Fed X or any of the others- it makes me furious to hear how people think it's "unresponsive" - I get my mail daily- I still go there to send packages and certified mail- this is about getting rid of all our culture and history for developers- that is who doesn't care about us- not the Post office -not our government- it's our corporations- shame on SM for doing this- historical building- central locale for so many- we just get worse and sell out more and more-
Suzanne Matheson` August 17, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I have lived in Santa Monica for 35 years and always loved this post office; it exemplifies Santa Monica and our history as well as its is convenience to the many residents and businesses in downtown area. PLEASE DO NOT close this location. Close the one on Wilshire and 11th if you must, but leave this one ALONE. Let us keep some history we are proud of - and let the residents of this great city hold onto something that is still great.
Suzanne Matheson` August 17, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Absolutely agree, John Smith. If you're trying for City Council and you want to retain this valuable structure and service and location, you have my vote. Progress is great but let's never lose our integrity. It's what makes our city so coveted and envied.
SantaMonicaNative August 17, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Come on, no more ! ! How much more of Santa Monica will we let them tear down? A wonderful,historically significant building,etched in the memory of every person who grew up here. The City should buy it and use it for a Center for Seniors or Disabled Persons in the City.It's the perfect building, one story and accessable. Come on Santa Monica, step up and save this building. We spend millions buying property for the city, Why not this wonderful, significant building? We have something here that really means something. I would vote to buy this to keep it safe.
Jerry Rubin August 17, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I'm glad Mayor Richard Bloom and Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis introduced a motion that was unanimously approved by our City Council at their meeting on Tuesday to appeal to the Post Office Service to NOT close our main downtown Post Office. As a Santa Monica City Council candidate, I will do all I can to try to keep it open. No one I spoke with want's otherwise. Thank you, Jerry Rubin
Frank August 17, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Instead of closing the PO. Just reverse the Republican poison pill to pay for pensions of people who are not even born yet. There will be so much cash that the cost of postage may even go down.
Eddie Greenberg August 18, 2012 at 12:39 AM
No use begging or pleading it's a done deal. The only thing we won't know for awhile is who made the offer that the Post Office could not refuse, or for what purpose? Doesn't it stretch credulity and isn't the silence deafening that the city manager's office, the Chamber of Commerce, the business orgs. etc. all maintain their stony silence? It's another step to eviserate what Santa Monica once was to vulture capitalism at it's worst; in collusion with social engineering for a profit. Who wants to go to 7th. St. in an unsafe and a potentail crime area. I doubt many will. It is not customer friendly. But you have a few choices which at best are unpalatable. If customer service is forever being downgraded here, forget about "buying postal- local". The Mar Vista post office at Venice and Centinela is still open if needed, with parking available. Unless you want the Wilshire location and long lines. Stamps can be purchased at many markets also. It is not necessary to buy local unless your customer service expectations are met. Buying local starts at your pocket book, and local is where the customer service is the best for you!
Gleam Davis August 18, 2012 at 01:31 AM
The City Council is joining with Representative Waxman's office to appeal the USPS decision. We will do all we can to save this local treasure.
j pena August 18, 2012 at 01:49 AM
The Main Street Post Office in Santa Monica is profitable! You have it right, this is part of a Republican ploy to reduce government. Those crazies have reached their tentacles to our town!
j pena August 18, 2012 at 01:49 AM
What is your opinion about the best course of action?
j pena August 18, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Please write a letter. They told me today at the Post Office that nothing is decided, it really does matter. In Redondo they saved their Post Office with citizen action. Every letter we write is worth dozens - and will be calculated this way because few people usually write. The community may appeal the decision within 15 days to: Vice President, Facilities Pacific Facilities Service Office 1300 Evans Ave. Ste. 200 San Francisco CA 94188-0200
j pena August 18, 2012 at 01:54 AM
The Santa Monica Post Office is profitable! This problem is due to Republican led efforts to pre-fund pensions. Please write! Please write a letter. They told me today at the Post Office that nothing is decided, it really does matter. In Redondo they saved their Post Office with citizen action. Every letter we write is worth dozens - and will be calculated this way because few people usually write. The community may appeal the decision within 15 days to: Vice President, Facilities Pacific Facilities Service Office 1300 Evans Ave. Ste. 200 San Francisco CA 94188-0200
THEBROKER August 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
CBRE handles all the USPS properties: http://www.cbre.com/EN/aboutus/MediaCentre/2011/Pages/072011.aspx The chairmen of CBRE is Richard Blum who just happens to be the husband of Dianne Feinstein - why don't all we start with her?
j pena August 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM
This is good news! How did you find out? Does it help to call Waxman's office to offer support? thanks
Eddie Greenberg August 18, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Thank you Mayor Pro Tem Davis. That support is appreciated!
Dolores Sloan August 18, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Bravo! Thanks to you, the city councillors and Rep. Waxman.
Andrew Miller August 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I totally agree with John Smith too. Great idea but the USPS is in trouble for a reason!
Christina Cox August 20, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Yes, there is a point in fighting! Spread the word - people do care but, as you said, they don't know. Also - Chez Jay is another near casualty of the city. Please check the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/savechezjay before Ocean Avenue is nothing more than a wall of pastel colored rectangular buildings with generic food served for tourists who come here once in their lives & are not invested in this community.
Christina Cox August 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Indeed, Dan! I am 42 and have only had ONE incident of lost mail! I can't believe the stories I hear - and I use the post office for almost everything. Christina www.facebook.com/savechezjay
Christina Cox August 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Be sure to send your letter! You know they're not reading the Santa Monica Patch.
Christina Cox August 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I think 4 City Council seats are up for re-election this fall. Let's also send a copy of our letter to the city council members reminding them that we're voting this fall. Here are their addresses: City Council Offices: 310-458-8201 Mayor Richard Bloom richard.bloom@smgov.net Mayor Pro Tempore Gleam Davis gleam.davis@smgov.net Councilmember Robert Holbrook robert.holbrook@smgov.net Councilmember Kevin McKeown kevin@mckeown.net Councilmember Pam O'Connor pam.oconnor@smgov.net Councilmember Terry O'Day terry.oday@smgov.net Councilmember Bobby Shriver bobby.shriver@smgov.net
Glenn E Grab August 20, 2012 at 06:14 PM
the Democcrats are in power, yet you blame the Republicans....gee, I wonder, what's your party affiliation?...
Glenn E Grab August 20, 2012 at 06:15 PM
a non-issue, it's done already...
Gleam Davis August 20, 2012 at 09:27 PM
No need to call or e-mail us The Santa Monica City Council along with Representative Waxman is appealing the decision. Feel free to let the USPS know you support our appeal. Thanks. Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis
j pena August 22, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Please keep us informed Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis, thanks. I think we still need to write the letters to the Post Office because otherwise we miss our chance to weigh in before the August 31st deadline, but it's encouraging to know an appeal is underway. My concern is that the Post Office is preserved as a structure for historical value but that the services are moved. That is NOT my idea of a solution, at all. I want to USE the Post Office. thanks.
donna August 23, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Again...my opinion hasn't changed...it won't matter. ...from today's Venice Patch about our new neighbor in the old PO Building... "Seward lamented the loss of public space in Venice and throughout the country due to unfair financial constraints that she said were placed on the U.S. Postal Service. She said there was a lack of congressional oversight and referenced media reports noting that California U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband is the chairman of CB Richard Ellis, which has the contract to sell post offices and recommends which ones should be put on the market." We lost our battle to keep our post office in Venice. Good luck with yours. I'm sure Ms. Feinstein's husband will make more commission from the sales of the Venice and Santa Monica PO buildings than he would with the sale of a building in, let's say...West Covina. Congress changed the financial rules the PO had to play by, forcing them to liquidate land assets...how convienient for our senator's husband. I'm a Democrat...and sadly, those that should listen, be the voice of the people and fight for what we want are putting themselves first. Like I said...The game is rigged! peace
j pena August 23, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Regarding the connection to Dianne Feinstein's husband - that is very telling. If NOTHING ELSE we need to see the mechanism for the destruction of our historic Post Offices, who benefited and who cared. Waxman must know about this. He's our best hope I suppose, other than letter writing. Please do write the letters regardless, it had an impact in Redondo and could have one in Santa Monica.

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