Downtown post office to close July 28, retail services moving to southeast Redmond

New parking spots have been painted at the the post office at 7241 185th Ave. N.E. in southeast Redmond to prepare for retail operations services set to begin July 30. - Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter
New parking spots have been painted at the the post office at 7241 185th Ave. N.E. in southeast Redmond to prepare for retail operations services set to begin July 30.
— image credit: Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

At the end of this month, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will close its downtown Redmond post office location at 16135 N.E. 85th St.

After an unsuccessful search for a new downtown location, the post office's retail operations will move to the post office at 7241 185th Ave. N.E. in Southeast Redmond. The last day for retail operations services downtown — which include package sending, certified mail, money orders, post office boxes and stamp purchasing — will be Saturday, July 28. The Southeast Redmond post office will begin offering these services and more Monday, July 30.

Ernie Swanson, a spokesperson for USPS's Seattle district, said they will begin the moving process Thursday, July 26 and should finish by that weekend.

"We'll still be open at the current location," he said about the downtown location's hours during the move.

Swanson said the downtown post office's letter carriers and delivery and distribution center have already been relocated to the Southeast Redmond location in the last two months. He added there will be no layoffs with the move and employees from the downtown post office will move to the new location as well.

In earlier reports, Swanson said the post office relocation has been prompted by the drop off in mail service. He'd said the volume of outgoing mail has decreased significantly during the last few years and the USPS has excess space in many of their facilities.

City of Redmond Mayor John Marchione said for the USPS to leave downtown at a time when the downtown core is growing makes no sense.

"Having a community-based downtown post office is essential for a thriving community," he said. "Residents and businesses depend on counter assistance, P.O. box access, shipping and mailing both locally and overseas, pick up of held mail as well as large-size packages and other services."

Marchione said in addition to the downtown business core, the current location serves residents from other neighborhoods, including Education Hill, Bear Creek, Sammamish Valley and Grass Lawn.

"The Southeast Redmond site is not convenient for the majority of residents or businesses and is not on any bus routes or within walking distance," he said.

The USPS had previously been looking at a new downtown location at 8215 160th Ave. N.E., but Swanson said they "made a determination that it just didn't make good business sense" with the USPS's continuing financial issues to lease a new location when there was an existing post office within two miles.

While there is no new downtown post office location at the moment, Swanson said USPS is soliciting downtown businesses regarding the possibility of a contract postal unit (CPU), which is a post office within a commercial business. He said CPUs offer all the services of a standalone post office except for post office box rentals.

CPUs are typically located within grocery stores, drugstores, stationary stores or hardware stores.

"Could be any number of things," Swanson said about possible businesses.

He said in order to support a CPU, a business would need about 100 square feet of available space and be open during certain hours. Swanson said one of the benefits of housing a CPU is that the commercial business would receive a percentage of the profits the CPU makes. He said another benefit is that it would bring in customers.

"You can do your grocery shopping (before or after visiting the post office)," he said, giving an example.

Swanson said there are no CPUs currently in Redmond and the nearest ones are in Kirkland.

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