The United States Postal Service has announced a proposal to relocate retail post office operations currently residing at the historic Richmond Main Post Office, located at 1025 Nevin Avenue, to the McVittie DDU facility at 2100 Chanslor Avenue. A relocation of services will undoubtedly result in the closure and sale of this beautiful Art Deco building.
The Richmond Main Post Office is essential to ensuring the economic health and historic legacy of Downtown, both as an institution and for the vital services that it provides to the public.
Join us in fighting this decision and saving the Richmond Main Post Office!
August 1, 2017
Richmond Main Street Initiative, the Office of Mayor Tom Butt, the Office of Congressman DeSaulnier, the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, and others are working together to prevent this relocation. Please see below for a timeline of events and update:
Timeline of Events
January 25: Notice announcing proposed sale of building posted at Richmond Main Post Office
May 5: Notice announcing potential relocation of post office, and notice of public meeting and comment period posted at Richmond Main Post Office
May 16: Notice of public hearing posted to USPS website
May 31: USPS held public meeting; 30-day public comment period initiated
June 15: Town Hall meeting hosted by Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council
June 30: USPS public comment period closed
Richmond Main Street and the Mayor’s Office facilitated collecting and mailing at least 250 letters and 113 online petition signatures.
What Happens Next?
Dean Cameron, the USPS representative overseeing this process, is aggregating the public comments and community feedback which will be taken into consideration by the panel of USPS officials evaluating the proposed relocation. A timeline/date for the final determination has not been provided.
Updates from Elected Officials
Office of Mayor Tom Butt
Mayor Tom Butt is committed to helping find alternative solutions to the proposed relocation of services from the Downtown location to the McVittie Annex. The Mayor met with Dean Cameron in June to explore options to prevent the relocation. We are waiting to hear more information regarding when the decision will be made.The Mayor is continuing to engage with USPS officials along with Congressman DeSaulnier to press for any course of action that will maintain services in the Downtown post office.
Office of Supervisor John Gioia
Supervisor Gioia submitted a letter to USPS on May 30 expressing opposition to plans to close the downtown Richmond Post Office. Among many other points supporting the preservation of the office, Supervisor Gioia noted that it is centrally-located within an improving downtown area that serves as a vital transit hub.
For more information about this situation, including copies of the notices, letters of support from local leaders, news articles, and arguments to save the Richmond Main Post Office, please explore this webpage.
Richmond Main Street staff will do their very best to continue to advocate on behalf of the Richmond community and provide updates as they become available.
Huge thanks to everyone who attended the meetings, wrote letters, signed the petition, shared this story, and resisted this proposal.
In partnership & community,
Richmond Main Street Initiative
Alicia Gallo, (510) 236-4049, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elected officials, community leaders and groups, and community benefit organizations oppose the relocation of the Richmond Main Post Office. Read their statements below. Help us gather additional support by connecting us with other leaders in our community by emailing us.
Why the Richmond Main Post Office Matters
The Richmond Main Post Office, located at 1025 Nevin Avenue, is essential to ensure the economic health and historic legacy of Downtown, both as an institution and for the vital services that it provides to the public.
Any of the proposed changes to this post office’s operations or location would be detrimental to all residents and businesses, as well as the current revitalization efforts in Downtown.
Richmond is woefully underserved in many aspects. Many groups are working together to change this. A strong business community and access to robust, centrally located public services, like the Richmond Main Post Office, are necessary for these efforts. Closing the Richmond Main Post Office—the primary and most historically significant post office in the city—will add to this unfortunate trend.
Access to a retail post office Downtown is necessary for all community members for the purposes of accessing post office boxes, mail-box drop-off, passport applications, and other retail postal services.
The Richmond Main Post Office is centrally located to residents, visitors, and merchants, as well as many public transportation options. This post office is .4 miles from the Richmond Transit Station, hub for BART, Amtrak, AC Transit, R-Transit, and many shuttles. Sidewalks in the area are wide, with ADA compliant curbs. The Downtown district is home to over 60 businesses, including two major employers, Kaiser Permanente and Social Security Administration, which sit on either side of the Richmond Main Post Office.
As Ms. Doris Mason, president of Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, stated at the Public Hearing on May 31, the Richmond Main Post Office is used by residents from North, Central, and South Richmond. For many, this post office is the only one that is accessible for them.
The Richmond community has already dealt with the closure of the Station A Post Office at 200 Broadway. If the Richmond Main Post Office were to close, our community would be subjected to additional burdens. Residents would be forced to travel excessive distances in order to reach other post offices in the area, which are smaller, not easily accessible by all modes of transportation, and have minimal parking. In particular, closing this post office will cause a significant hardship to seniors and those with physical disabilities, individuals with limited access to the Internet, and people who rely on public transportation.
Although located just .9 miles away from the Richmond Main Post Office, the McVittie DDU facility (2100 Chanslor Avenue) is not an acceptable location for retail post office services. This facility is located in a residential neighborhood, is not pedestrian-friendly, is not accessible by any forms of public transportation, and sits at the intersection of two dead-end streets. The McVittie DDU facility is therefore not accessible to all members of the public, especially those with physical disabilities, who rely on public transportation, work hourly jobs with fixed schedules, or who must be able to perform retail post office services in a timely manner.
As disclosed at the Public Hearing held on May 31, no reports evaluating the environmental or traffic impact have been completed. Therefore, the relocation of retail post office operations to this area has not taken into full consideration the impacts that an increase in vehicular traffic will have on the environment, the municipal infrastructure, or the residents’ quality of life.
Future development plans for Downtown include an increase in housing (approx. 1000 units) and retail space (60k sqft) within the next 5 years. Richmond Main Street Initiative (a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing historic Downtown Richmond) is working diligently with a new developer to fill the BART retail space (10k sqft) on Macdonald Avenue with several new businesses, including a café and a business incubator/co-working space that will bring more businesses Downtown.
The City of Richmond recently released a Request for Qualifications and Proposals for opportunity sites in the Macdonald Avenue Corridor. This RFQ/P includes 5 properties in Downtown and outlines that “[d]evelopments, where appropriate, should feature a blend of mid and high-rise mixed-use development to galvanize the major activity center to serve the community and region. Office, retail, entertainment and residential uses are allowed.” These forthcoming infill and future development projects will be located within .5 miles of Richmond Main Post Office, and will bring more residents, businesses, and visitors Downtown.
The relocation of public services outside of city center areas is against development best practices and adopted policies of Associated Bay Area Governments, which are actively supporting high-density, transit-oriented development with a variety of private and public services that are centrally located.
“The Post Office provides a sense of place.”
~ Kate Sibley, Richmond resident.
Many community members, especially long-time residents, have very strong connections to the Richmond Main Post Office. Since 1938, it has operated as the main post office for the city. During WWII it is where all people of Japanese descent were required to register as ‘enemy aliens’ and it also served as a designated air raid shelter.
The building is a spectacular example of Art Deco architecture and is a rare example of a building that has retained both its original form and function. It serves as a landmark for residents and visitors. The relocation of retail operations, and the inevitable closure and sale of the building that would follow, raises serious historic preservation concerns. Downtown Richmond has already lost a large portion of its historic buildings; others have been abandoned or left vacant for many years, with owners who do have the financial means or desire to restore them. A vacant post office would be a setback for Downtown’s revitalization.
The local APWU chapter and all retired postal workers in attendance at the May 31 Public Hearing spoke very strongly against the relocation/closure of the post office, citing the historical significance of the building, the importance of the post office’s operations to the community, and the vast opportunities for revenue-generating uses of the office’s “excess” space. A thoughtful and sincere exploration of creative lease agreements or hybridization of services at the Richmond Main Post Office could help generate vital funds and solve the economic concerns cited by USPS.
The lack of transparent information about the evaluation and decision-making process around the proposal to relocate/close the Richmond Main Post Office is of great concern to the community. Other than citing the facility’s square footage, USPS representatives at the Public Hearing were not able to provide any detailed information about how the USPS determined that this post office is “in excess.” No data or sales analysis, exact determining factors, or specific details about the criteria used in the review and decision-making process was provided.
"Residents vow to resist plan to close Richmond main post office"
East Bay Times, June 17, 2017
"Richmond town hall seeks to stop closure of landmark post office"
East Bay Times, June 14, 2017
"Opposition grows to planned Richmond post office closure"
Richmond Standard, June 12, 2017
"Hearing on planned Richmond post office closure set for Wednesday"
Richmond Standard, May 31, 2017
"Public hearing to discuss fate of downtown Richmond post office"
East Bay Times, May 29, 2017
"DeSaulnier wants fair warning in event of post office closure"
Richmond Standard, March 17, 2017
"Richmond community members oppose post office sale"
Richmond Confidential, February 9, 2017
"Richmond: US Postal Service announces historic downtown post office is for sale."
East Bay Times, February 1, 2017
Legislation would name Nevin Ave. post office after former Richmond Postmaster"
Richmond Standard, October 21, 2016