By Sabina Mollot
The U.S. Postal Service, which in May decided to proceed with a plan to move the half-a-century-old Peter Stuyvesant Post Office to a smaller space on East 14th Street, signed paperwork on Friday making the new location official.
The new post office, last home to a Duane Reade store, inked a deal to sublease the space between First and Second Avenues for 10 years, the real estate firm Feil Organization announced. The new post office will occupy 6,940 square feet of ground floor space and additional 1,500 square feet of basement.
“The Post Office is a destination in itself and has been downsizing its space needs in response to the growing use of email and other technologies,” Randall Briskin, vice president of leasing at The Feil Organization said. “The new space at 333 East 14th Street is smaller than, but in close proximity to its current location, allowing the U.S.P.S. to continue convenient service for Stuyvesant Town, the East Village, and the surrounding area.”
Duane Reade had moved from that space in January. Prior to that, the address was home to a Gristedes.
As Town & Village reported back in April, the decision by the U.S.P.S. to move and downsize was a hotly contested one with Stuy Town and East Village residents packing a meeting to argue that as it was, the post office was a busy one with lines that frequently spilled out the door.
The lease will be up in that space, 432 East 14th Street, in February of 2014. Initially the U.S.P.S. said a decision was made to leave after the agency was unable to come to an agreement with the owner, but a rep for the owner said it was actually the Postal Service’s decision to leave because of a desire to downsize.
The agency has cited the fact that it’s losing money, which a union for its employees has blamed not on a drop in the volume of mail but a federal law passed in 2006 that forces the U.S.P.S. to fund its employees’ pension plans 75 years in the future, costing it $5.5 billion a year.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who believed the busy post office had to be making money regardless, said she asked the agency to review the branch’s financial information, and was refused.