By Steve Plunkett
The city’s downtown post office is staying put, postal officials announced July 5.
The U.S. Postal Service told Boca Raton in February that it had been unable to get a new long-term lease on the facility at 170 NE Second St.
James and Marta Batmasian bought the site, which has housed the post office for decades, in 2013.
“The Postal Service and the landlord have since been able to come to a long-term agreement to stay at the current location,” Tom Samra, the agency’s vice president of facilities, wrote Mayor Scott Singer.
Postal spokeswoman Enola Rice confirmed July 31 the new lease had been signed.
Terms of the agreement were not announced, but Samra said his agency has canceled its proposal to relocate the facility.
“This is the final decision of the Postal Service with respect to this matter,” Samra wrote.
Singer called it “a great outcome,” ending months of concern for city officials and downtown businesses and residents. “I’m glad the Postal Service listened,” he said.
Residents crowded a room in the Community Center Annex on March 29 to plead with postal officials not to relocate the downtown office, saying it was part of the city’s history. The lease was set to end July 13.
Damian Salazar, a USPS real estate specialist, said at that meeting the agency wanted a lease for at least 10 years with three five-year renewals.
James Batmasian, who attended the gathering, told Salazar that was the first he had heard about the Postal Service wanting a longer lease and offered on the spot to redo a four-year lease he and his wife negotiated in September.
In his letter, Samra noted that his agency receives no tax dollars to support its work.
“To be self-sustaining, the Postal Service must make decisions that ensure it provides adequate and affordable postal services in a manner that is as efficient and economical as possible,” he wrote.