Thursday, April 4, 2013

UPDATED: Did you hear the rumor about the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office branch closing?

So have you heard the rumors that the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office on East 14th Street near Avenue A will close this fall? We have. Again, it's just a rumor.

After all, in July 2011, when USPS officials released a list of thousands of post offices being studied for possible closure to save money, this one wasn't on the list. Maybe all this is just wishful thinking by the patrons who have expressed their exasperation-disgust, etc. at this branch. (See comments in the links below.)

Or maybe a developer is starting this rumor. Why, what a prime chunk of East Village real estate! Think of the condos we could have instead of some dumb mail!

Or maybe it's just an unhappy postal worker, like the letter carrier who has been telling residents on his or her route that this branch is closing in September, and most likely absorbed into the PO branch on East 23rd Street between Third Avenue and Lexington.

Updated 8:56 a.m.:

OK! Well, apparently this is more than a rumor... more like a done deal.

There's a Town Hall scheduled on the matter between Community Board 3 and Community Board 6 on April 22. Location: — Campos Plaza Community Center (gym) at 611 East 13th Street (btwn Aves B & C)

Updated noon:

And this was in a recent issue of Town & Village (story now online)...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Today in rants: the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office

Meanwhile, at everyone's favorite local post office branch...

Has anyone taken advantage of this 'great news' at the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office?


Brian Van said...

It's true. USPS is not renewing their lease for 2014 at this location. Was at the last CB6 meeting and this had come up. The USPS will be working with local communities to let them know how service will be impacted. Some services might be ported to the Madison Square office, but supposedly they're looking to open a new Stuyvesant retail office somewhere as well.

However, the changes are indeed months away, with the current branch closing in 2014 supposedly, so nothing to immediately worry about.

Obviously the natural future for this location is many many more luxury expensive condos.

Anonymous said...

This post office is a disaster. I now refuse to order any packages that I know will be "delivered" by the USPS because I know chances are they won't be "delivered." They will sit at this branch for a month then I will suddenly get a post-dated notice informing me that I had better pick it up.

Trixie said...

I, for one, would mourn its loss. I use that PO almost daily to drop off packages. I print my postage at home and use the APC machines there to double check my weights. I buy a money order there once a month. I buy my stamps there. I would find it terribly inconvenient to use any of the other existing POs south, west, or north of me. And I'm a relatively young and healthy person who walks a lot. What about the elderly and infirm from Stuyvesant Town and all points between e 3rd and 23rd Streets? It may be the Post Office everybody loves to hate, but logistically, I just can't see it being shut down, because it serves too many people.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks, Brian.

The USPS sold the 70,000-SQ Peck Slip branch at the Seaport, and opened a much smaller (3,500 SQ) retail branch on John Street a few blocks away. I imagine the USPS would do something similar here then so residents still have some of the services...

12th street hatter said...

Agree. Site is so necessasry to the 10009/LES community.
I avoid the line but use the kiosk almost daily to send priority mail to clients. Very efficient/much cheaper than messenger service.

The vandalism inflicted on the PO is deplorable. Someone destroys one of the 4 glass entry doors nearly every week. Great expense to replace (which they do). Upper level doors also continually vandalized.
Very discouraging. USPS personnel understandably demoralized -- not to excuse the often lousy service, but I am a big fan of USPS, and Saturday service.

Anonymous said...

This post office was the worst fucking place I have ever dealt with. My poor package that I never got, and there is no information or higher ups that can help me :-(.

BT said...

How about require that they put APC (Automatic Postal something) machines in the 7-11s?

Locations everywhere and you'd get rid of the dead-weight union costs.

Anonymous said...

Oval Stamp

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, this post office deserves to be closed. It's run so poorly I'm not surprised it ended up on the chopping block. On the other hand I don't like the sound of Post Offices closing because it further underscores the crumbling of this part of the US infrastructure. There's a proud history behind the US Post Office and it sucks that it's being allowed to fall by the wayside.

Shawn said...

I'm sure they are looking for new places, but how about Ave A and 5th where the old pharmacy was? Isn't that still vacant?

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Maybe not a done deal yet.

There may be more to this than we know. Are we so sure that the lease is really up? Doesn't the Hallmark Store next door pay rent to the Post Office? When does that lease expire if this is the case? Perhaps City Council people Mendez and Garodnick and/or CBs3 and 6 have more info. Maybe not. The Post Office rep has been very cagey about this closing.

Congress oversees the Post Office and figures largely in its mismanagement. So call your US reps in the House of Reps and Senate to object:

Nydia Velazquez (10003)

Carolyn Maloney (10009) 212-860-0606

Schumer 212-486-4430

Gillibrand 212-688-6262

Meanwhile, some quick background on all the closings. The Post Office is trying to save $$ by closing some 34 locations in NYC and a lot more across the country because it is operating in the red. It's operating in the red because Congress passed legislation back in 2006 requiring the Post Office to pre-fund its pension plans for the next 75 years -- the Postal Service is being forced to foot the pension bill for employees it hasn’t even hired yet! Without that pension requirement, the Post Office would have a $1.5 billion surplus.

BTW, Congress's 75 year pre-funding requirement is unique to the Post Office. No other other public or private American institution has it. It's almost like certain people in Congress want the Post Office to fail so mail delivery can be privatized and handed to their corporate sponsors to get even filthier rich off of.

Anonymous said...

You guys aren't seeing the bigger problem...This Post Office is a hellmouth...You can feel the negative energy and the demons from the minute you walk in...If they raze this building, it's gonna be like POltergeist and Ghostbusters X 100. YOu watch...Hellmouth...

vzabuser said...

Odd but true...Since the downturn in 2008, the air conditioning is better in here then most banks-
I remember sweating on a line in the POST OFFICE as government workers were the original austerity program earlier last decade.

Anonymous said...

this post office is terrible
I am glad it is closing

the fact is with internet there is less mail volume
and less need for so many post offices

is there currently a smaller post office in EV?

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Anon April 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Bullshit, at least based my house. We get more USPS mail and package deliveries now than we did pre-internet.

There are almost always lines at the 14th St Post Office, no matter what time of day/year you go in. If anything the powers-that-be should be looking at management issues and persistent staffing shortages at this location, not closing it.

Otherwise the plan is for
mail carriers to be diverted to other locations and the Post Office will look for a location in the neighborhood for package/truck deliveries which can't be absorbed by other locations.

This is just more of the usual back room real estate/developer bullshit and if this is allowed to happen the neighborhood will be the worse for it.

Prove the story is true about the lease not getting renewed then show it to Community Boards 3 and 6, Post Office rep guy.

EV Grieve said...

@ Ken

There's a whole row of single-level businesses starting at A — Dion cleaners & tailors, Pro Land, the 24-hour coffee shop, the Hallmark, the 99-cent store... (wait, what am I missing?) ... all leading into the PO branch. I can certainly see all of this swallowing up for some sort of residential complex... or dorm.

Wax said...

what a terrible loss this would be for people who live nearby like i do.

it would be such a hassle do bring packages all the way to the 4th avenue post office!


Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree this is one of the most horrifying post offices on the planet. Whoever said Hellmouth was spot on. And if this place closes is that kind of a harbinger for the remaining one story buildings on East 14th? Looks like there will be a gaping hole from A to B. Now we're creeping toward 1st? Curious.

Anonymous said...

Ken from Ken's Kitchen

the facts are
Total mail volume has fallen by 25 percent since 2007

there just isn't a need for so many post offices
just like there is no longer a need for places in NYC to park your horse.

times changes - it isn't some conspiracy between republicans and real estate developers

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...


Yup. Exactly.

Richard D. James said...

This is the worst post office I have ever been forced to use in my life.

I wouldn't mind having to go further away b.c it will still take less time b/c the staff at this post office is the most incompetent crew I have ever been forced to deal with.

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

No Republican conspiracy? That's rich (pun intended)...

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Anon April 4, 2013 at 2:19

USPS business for packages and big parcels was up 9% last year and the USPS has made over $611 million in net profits over the four years since 2007, the year after the new law mandating pre-paying pensions was enacted. Unfortunately that's not near enough to cover the required cost of pre-funding pensions for the next 75 years for that period. So USPS now has plans to eliminate over 100,000 jobs and 3,000 post offices to cover the losses Congress unnecessarily created.

If you're interested, there's much more about it all here:

Regarding real estate developers. My understanding is that the USPS is leasing the block from it's location all the way east to Ave A and it subleases the stores along way. According to a former business owner who leased of one of those stores from the USPS, the USPS had a 99 year lease. Assuming the Post Office went up around the same time as Stuy Town, that would leave quite a few years on their lease. So not a conspiracy perhaps. But also not the story being floated either.

Anonymous said...

NOOO! Yeah they're not great, but people use PO Boxes there. Are they going to guarantee that people can keep the exact same PO address they had at Stuyvesant? I'm going to fly into a blind rage if this makes me change my address again in dozens of places that use it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember the sidewalk vendor / notary who used to set up in front of this PO? What a useful service! r.e. hellmouth, I've found that every NYC PO ive tried (approx 10-12 of them) is pretty hellish. Perhaps y'all have been a bit sheltered & haven't experienced the full range of available hell? -ex EV anon

Anonymous said...

We've lived in the neighborhood since 1996. The service in this PO is criminally awful. We beg our relatives not to send us holiday gift boxes which 1) rarely get here or 2) mean we stand in the purgatory line with a pink slip which never means there is a box anyway. The staff is just terrific. This place inspired us to pay bills online, purchase most gifts online, cancel magazine subscriptions. Anything to avoid interacting with them. Good luck. Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

Closing a post office because it is service in that location is dysfunctional? That's not very smart - obviously a PO is needed in this or a nearby location. Probably it would be better to bring in better staff which is able to get the job done. And I suffered a great deal at this place and prefer walking over to 4th Ave. But I have a feeling the improvement of service is not what's at stake, at least for the USPS.

VH McKenzie said...

As I've said before, there's a reason they've installed bullet proof glass between the customers and the postal workers in this PO.

I hate this place WITH A VICIOUS HATE.

The PO at 4th and 11th is a dreamy dream dream come true in comparison.

Likewise, the PO near my work place on Columbus and 67th -- perfection! I actually ENJOY going to that PO!

Peter Stuyvesant deserves to close -- they have no idea how shamefully they "serve" the public. MEH!