Senator Presses for Space That Benefits the Community, Strengthens the South Bronx Local Economy
Gillibrand: “The Voices of Bronx Residents Must Be Heard”
Bronx, NY – As the United States Postal Service (USPS) moves ahead with the second phase of the sale of the historic Bronx post office, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged USPS to meet with the Bronx community and hear their concerns before deciding on a winning bid. With the review process underway of at least eleven submitted plans, Senator Gillibrand pressed the agency to choose proposals that would transform the City landmark into a space that would benefit the community and grow the local economy in the South Bronx.
“The sale of the historic Bronx post office, a neighborhood cornerstone, is an important decision that will deeply impact the future of the South Bronx,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The USPS must ensure that the voices of Bronx residents are heard. The community deserves a transformative space that will strengthen the borough and help grow the local economy.”
“In order to get the best possible project, in order to see the best possible ideas move forward, the USPS must include our community’s input on the future of this historic building,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We do have options. We have met with several developers that have put forward innovative ideas for this space. I am glad that this issue has Senator Gillibrand’s attention and I am grateful that she is working to make sure that the voices of Bronxites are heard for the betterment of our community.”
Senator Gillibrand wrote in a letter to USPS: “I write to express concerns regarding the future of the Bronx General Post Office… I urge your agency to work with local elected officials and community groups to fully understand and consider all viable uses for the facility by visiting the Bronx and hearing from the community before selecting a winning bid… I urge you to employ selection criteria that favors developers who will utilize this space for public use and benefit. A wide variety of uses, many of which enjoy wide community support, have been considered for this site in the past and I ask that you to continue to consider these proposals.”
The USPS is in the second phase of the sale of the General Post Office on Grand Concourse, with the deadline to submit a plan coming to a close this week. The USPS is reviewing at least eleven submitted proposals. Currently, the agency has no plans to engage with the community until after the winning bid is selected. Senator Gillibrand called for a visit to the Bronx to hear from the community before this important decision is made.
Full text of Senator’s letter is below:
Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:
I write to express concerns regarding the future of the Bronx General Post Office, located at 558 Grand Concourse at the corner of East 149th Street. Since its construction in 1935 this magnificent structure has been a focal point of not only the Mott Haven community, but also the entire borough of the Bronx. This facility draws thousands of visitors each day, and serves as a centerpiece of a growing commercial and civic center.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently moved to sell this historically significant facility and community landmark. While I understand that the USPS has confidentiality rules preventing it from making information about this transaction public at this time, I urge your agency to work with local elected officials and community groups to fully understand and consider all viable uses for the facility by visiting the Bronx and hearing from the community before selecting a winning bid.
Included in this historic building are numerous murals that were painted and displayed for the public over many decades. The future of this art is important to the Bronx residents and I hope you will take such concerns into consideration when finalizing any future sale or leasing agreement. Additionally, I urge you to employ selection criteria that favors developers who will utilize this space for public use and benefit. A wide variety of uses, many of which enjoy wide community support, have been considered for this site in the past and I ask that you to continue to consider these proposals.
I appreciate the USPS’ efforts to positively contribute to the continued growth and economic development of the Bronx and urge you to make the revitalization of this site a priority. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to working with you on this important matter. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.