White Flint post office seeks new home -- Gazette.Net


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This story was corrected July 9, 2013. An explanation follows the story.

The United States Postal Service is planning to move its post office inside White Flint Mall in anticipation of the mall eventually closing down for redevelopment.

USPS is looking for a new location to house the post office, and representatives from the agency are planning a public meeting in July to kick off the site-selection process. A spokeswoman told The Gazette that the landlord is interested in working with them and the mall’s developers to renew the lease, however.

“The project is to replace the White Flint Mall Station, because the landlord is redeveloping the mall and does want to renew the USPS lease,” Laura Dvorak, communications programs specialist for USPS, wrote in an email.

Last October, the county Planning Board approved a sketch plan to redevelop the 1977 mall, The Gazette reported at the time. The plan calls for tearing down most of the mall to build high-rise office, residential and hotel buildings. In the meantime, the mall already has a number of vacant stores.

Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, said his understanding is that the Postal Service is looking for a location in the same Kensington ZIP code the mall is in.

“There is merit to having (a post office) in White Flint,” he said.

Dvorak did not have a time frame for moving the post office or any potential sites, but said the lease for the White Flint Mall site runs out on May 31, 2014. She wrote in her email that facilities specialists are looking for 1,200 square feet of retail-only space as close to the current location as possible.

A community meeting to explain the site selection process is planned for 4:30 p.m. July 10 at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Blvd., Dvorak wrote.

This article previously quoted a Postal Service spokeswoman as saying that White Flint Mall was not interested in renewing the post office’s lease in the mall. She later corrected the statement to say that the landlord does want to renew the lease.

ewaibel@gazette.net