Though the NY Times recently reported that no Brooklyn Post Office branches are among the 16 New York City offices facing closures, one southern Brooklyn branch is still at risk for other reasons and postal authorities have not planned to accommodate its out-of-luck clients.
According to Don Brown, Community Board 15’s liaison to the United States Postal Service, authorities overseeing the Brighton Beach Post Office have negotiated a six-month extension to the retail station’s lease, following the news in May that it would shut down on December 31, 2009. Though Brighton residents can breathe a sigh of relief until June 2010, Brown says USPS is making little headway in finding a new location.
Trouble emerged when Kaytus LLC, the new landlords of 3157 Coney Island Avenue, refused to renew the lease after more than 30 years in the location. According to Brown, Kaytus was seeking an “exorbitant” amount in excess of 30 percent of market value. With the federal agency bleeding money across the nation, postal authorities nixed any deal with the landlord and began looking elsewhere. Hampering the search are strict guidelines for finding a new location.
“It’s a matter of finding a building with the proper size and structure to accomodate their needs,” said Brown. Despite a neighborhood of empty buildings and stalled developments, the post office can’t catch a break.
Making matters worse, authorities haven’t drawn up plans to accommodate patrons of the Brighton Breach location when it closes, leaving no choice but to flood the Sheepshead Bay branch on East 18th Street, which recently reduced hours. Brown said that temporary trailers and other options have been discussed to no avail.
“Certain things have come up as possibilities, but nothing that seems viable,” he said. “There is a problem as to what alternatives [clients] have, and it’s possible they may have to flow to [the Sheepshead Bay Post Office], but ultimately I think there’ll be a solution.
While Brown remains optimistic, neighbors in both Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay have fingers crossed. With eight months on the clock, can the United States Post Office find a location in Brighton Beach?