USPS Is Relocating Post Offices in These States
The agency has made proposals to move several postal facilities.
Most of us know exactly where our nearest post office is located—and when it comes to having to pick up packages or drop off mail during the busy work week, we rely on it being right where it's always been. But for some customers, that's about to change. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will often close post offices for any number of reasons, and while most of these closures are only temporary, that's not always the case. The agency is now moving a few post offices permanently. Read on to find out why these relocations are taking place.
The USPS is relocating three different post offices.
The Postal Service has over 33,600 post offices across the U.S., but these locations are not set in stone. In fact, the USPS "can relocate post offices from one place to another, typically within the same ZIP Code area, for reasons such as lease issues or space optimization," according to the agency's Office of Inspector General (USPSOIG).
The agency has already announced this month that it is proposing to relocate three different post offices. In a July 5 local press release, the USPS revealed plans to move the Olpe Post Office in Olpe, Kansas, to a new location.
Then on July 19, the agency confirmed in separate local press releases that it is also proposing the relocation of the Pineville Post Office in Pineville, North Carolina, and the Benning Station Post Office in Washington, D.C.
The Kansas facility has been closed since 2022.
Postal customers in Olpe, Kansas, have been without a local post office for over a year now. The USPS temporarily closed the Olpe Post Office in May 2022 after it failed to secure a new lease agreement for its location at 118 Westphalia Street, local radio station KVOE reported. Since May 14 of last year, Olpe residents have had to travel to the Emporia Post Office to access mail services.
That may change soon. In its new press release, the USPS said that it has now proposed a relocation for the Olpe Post Office "due to the expiration of the building lease." The agency is planning to move it to an "alternate building of approximately 900 square feet within the 66865 zip code," according to the announcement.
"The proposed new facility will maintain the same level of retail service as the closed location," the agency added in its release. "The Postal Service apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience as we assess possible concerns."
Best Life reached out to the USPS to get more information on when the Olpe Post Office relocation is expected to happen, and we will update this story with their response.
The other two facilities will remain open until their new locations are operating.
The USPS is also planning to relocate the Pineville Post Office in North Carolina and the Benning Station Post Office in D.C. because of lease issues. The current landlords for both facilities have chosen not to renew the leases for either location, according to the agency. Unlike the Olpe Post Office, Pineville and Benning Station have not been closed, and will continue to serve customers for the time being.
"The Postal Service plans to provide services at the Benning Station facility until the replacement facility is open and operating as a Post Office," the agency said in its D.C. release.
For Pineville, the USPS also confirmed that it "plans to provide services at the current facility until the new location is operational."
The Postal Service said that the Pineville Post Office, which is currently located at 206 College Street, will be relocated to a "yet-to-be-determined location as close as reasonably possible to the current site within the Pineville city limits that is suitable for our operational needs."
But the USPS has already settled on a new location for the Bennington Station Post Office—moving it from its current location at 3924 Minnesota Ave. to 3937 1/2 Minnesota Ave.
Post offices don't always reopen when there are lease issues.
Many post offices are not actually owned by the Postal Service. In fact, the agency maintains over 25,000 leased properties, according to the USPSOIG. These facilities operate like normal post offices, but they are owned by an outside landlord. About every five years, the leases expire, and the USPS has to work with the lessor to renew them.
In some cases, the Postal Service or the landlord will choose not to enter into a new agreement, effectively kicking the agency out of the space. And as in the Olpe Post Office situation, this may leave customers without a local post office for an indefinite period of time.
For instance, residents in Bolinas, California, have not had a facility in town since March, after the Bolinas Post Office was unable to secure a new lease agreement for its previous building, per an online petition.
Steve Hutkins, a retired English professor and founder of the Save the Post Office website, has made it clear that this is not an unusual scenario. In a May 2023 post, Hutkins said that the most common reason for post office suspensions are lease-related—whether the Postal Service or the landlord decided to terminate or not renew it.
"In any case, when a lease issue causes a suspension, it's rare for the post office to reopen," Hutkins warned. "Of the 375 suspensions known to have been caused by a lease issue, only 31 have reopened."
- Source: https://facts.usps.com/size-and-scope/
- Source: https://www.uspsoig.gov/reports/audit-reports/post-office-relocation-process
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/local-releases/ks/2023/0705-olpe-ks-post-office-relocation-proposal.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/local-releases/nc/2023/0719-postal-service-plans-relocation-of-pineville-po.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/local-releases/dc/2023/0719-relocation-of-the-benning-station-post-office.htm
- Source: https://www.uspsoig.gov/reports/audit-reports/leased-facility-maintenance