During these challenging times, postal employees are working hard to ensure residents stay connected with their world through the mail. Whether it’s medications, a package, a paycheck, benefits or pension check, a bill or letter from a family member, postal workers understand that every piece of mail is important. While service like this is nothing new to us, we need our communities’ help with social distancing. For everyone’s safety, our employees are following the social distancing precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials. We are asking people to not approach our carriers to accept delivery.
The United States Post Office confirmed Thursday that it has agreed to a new lease to remain at 655 Centre St. The Post Office and landlord had been at loggerheads over a new deal, and the process to move the facility elsewhere had already begun. Rumors of a deal to keep the busy post office where it is have been swirling for weeks in JP. "I can confirm that we will remain in the facility and that a lease has been signed," wrote Maureen Marion, a spokesperson for the USPS. Marion later clarified that the actual signing of the lease was scheduled for Friday.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who along with other local politicians has been working to keep the J.P. Post Office at 655 Centre St., said a solution could be in the works. "I'm cautiously optimistic," JP's district councilor said Wednesday. "It's a huge priority of mine to make sure the Jamaica Plain Post Office stays here." As of Wednesday, no new lease had been signed, O'Malley said. A representative of the landlord of the purpose-built building, Bulfinch Properties, said Wednesday she had no information about a possible deal.
As neighborhood residents continue to report going days without mail, a Post Office spokesperson said all the routes in JP are being delivered to. Melissa Lohnes of the U.S. Postal Service on Monday wrote in an email to Jamaica Plain News that, "our carriers are on the road today delivering mail to 100 percent of our routes in Jamaica Plain. Safety and service are top priorities for the Postal Service and we are very proud that our employees are making every effort to deliver the mail in very challenging conditions." Residents of Woodbourne, especially, are reporting long delays. Across the neighborhood on Perkins Street, Polly Puner reports finally getting at least some of her mail on Tuesday after four days of no mail.
Several residents have told Jamaica Plain News that they've received no mail for three or more days. "I don't know what the problem is," said Polly Puner of Perkins Street, who hasn't had mail delivered since Wednesday. Puner, who lives across from the MSPCA, said her newspaper gets delivered every day, so why not the U.S. mail? A Bourne neighborhood resident, who did not want to give her name, has stopped relying on the Post Office for delivery of her medications. Instead, she picks them up in person now.
ByMatt O'Malley, Liz Malia, Sonia Chang-Díaz and Jeffrey Sánchez |
Mike Powers, District Manager, The United States Post Office
25 Dorchester Ave
Boston, MA 02205
Robert Schlager, President, Bulfinch Properties
250 First Avenue, Suite 200
Needham, MA 02494
Jan. 30, 2015
To Mike Powers and Robert Schlager,
We urge you both to resolve your ongoing lease negotiations and keep Jamaica Plain’s post office in its current location at 655 Centre Street. The post office is an anchor in the local shopping district and serves as a resource for residents and businesses in Jamaica Plain. Furthermore, it serves as an important tribute to the service and sacrifice of Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo, a local resident for whom it is named. After having conversations with both Mike Powers from the United States Post Office and Robert Schlager of Bulfinch Properties, we are deeply concerned about the lack of communication and conflicting stories being expressed by all parties.
Postal officials have set in motion the process to move the JP Post Office from 655 Centre St. after they were unable to come to terms with the landlord on a new lease. A letter was recently posted in the vestibule of the busy post office. It's from the Post Office to Mayor Marty Walsh and lays out the process for possible relocation to somewhere else in the 02130 Zip Code. "The Postal Service is considering relocation because its lease at the present location will terminate shortly and it has been unable to reach an agreement with the property owner for a new lease to remain in the property."
Here is the letter about possible relocation that is posted at the Jamaica Plain Post Office:
Jan. 9, 2015
The Honorable Martin Walsh
Mayor, City of Boston
1 City Hall Square, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02201-2013
Dear Mayor Walsh:
The United States Postal Service is considering relocating the retail services currently provided at the Jamaica Plain Post Office ("Post Office") at 655 Centre St., Boston, Massachusetts to a yet-to-be-determined new location with the same Zip Code area. The Postal Service is considering relocation because its lease at the present location will terminate shortly and it has been unable to reach an agreement with the property owner for a new lease to remain in the property. In undertaking this project, the Postal Service will complete a process set out in 39 CFR 241.4 for gathering input from the community and local officials. The process includes a public meeting to discuss the project with the community and solicit comments for 15 days, then the Postal Service evaluates the comments and makes an initial decision whether to proceed with the project.