I received this letter today from Tom A. Samra:
Dear Mayor Butt:
Thank you for quickly responding to our September 13, 2017, revised offer with the City’s counter-offer. Unfortunately, it was not the response we were hoping to receive because it does not allow the City and the Postal Service to finalize an agreement. Selling the Richmond post office will provide some much-needed revenue, but the primary driver for this project is the annual costs saved through combining the retail operations with the carriers in one location. While we may incur similar costs at other locations, our dire financial condition compels us to reduce costs to fulfill our statutory mission by combining operations wherever feasible, and my planning staff has reviewed and validated the projected savings for this project.
We appreciate all your efforts on behalf of the City. We remain open to pursuing an agreement consistent with our September 13, 2017, revised offer. Accordingly, we will not market the property until your 30-day period expires on October 16, 2017. We hope the City will reconsider our offer.
Tom A. Samra
Vice President, Facilities
United States Postal Service
I believe the City of Richmond has made a more than generous, in fact unprecedented, offer to the United States Postal Service (USPS), aimed at preserving the retail postal operation in its present location instead of seeing it moved to the remote and inaccessible McVittie Annex.
The United States Postal Service’s demand (see How Can We Save the Richmond Main Post Office? September 19, 2017), is to put it bluntly, simply extortion.
I think we have run out of options, unless someone wants to step up and offer to lease the balance of space in the building at a rate high enough to justify a purchase at the level the USPS is demanding, or simply make a grant to the City to purchase the building.
Let’s be clear that saving the postal operation in the building is our prime objective. Because of historic preservation protections, the building is unlikely to be radically altered or torn down. Some have suggested that we let the building go to auction and then obtain it through eminent domain. That would not accomplish our goal, which is to save the retail operation.
It looks like the Richmond main Post Office will move to McVittie Annex sometime next year.