Postal service to sell another property in Berkeley

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Another Berkeley property owned by the U.S. Postal Service is being sold just a few weeks after the news of the plan to move the service’s main post office on Allston Way surfaced.

The plot of land owned by the Postal Service is approximately 2.2 acres on 8th and Harrison streets — which neighbors the service’s main processing center — and the service plans to sell it for $2.3 million, according to Postal Service spokesperson Augustine Ruiz. However, the land does not actually contain a building and currently sits empty.

Buyers for the plot of land have not been determined, according to Ruiz.

“(The plot of land) was first acquired by (Postal Service) in case there was a need for expansion,” Ruiz said.

He also said because the Postal Service is going through a financial crisis, it has been developing cost containment strategies throughout the 2012 fiscal year, including selling excess property that is no longer needed, such as the main post office in downtown Berkeley.

The Postal Service is currently planning to move its letter carriers from the main post office building on Allston Way to the processing center neighboring the plot of land to be sold, Ruiz said. There are still no buyers for the Allston building.

City of Berkeley spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said it may be too early to say whether the postal service move from Allston will have any noted impact on the city.

“I would venture that there would be some interesting project proposed and we could get some public benefit out of whatever replaces that facility,” said Councilmember Linda Maio, whose district includes the post office and neighboring land.

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  • Guest

    Moving letter carriers from a central Berkeley logistical hub to a location that is in the NW corner of Berkeley, practically in Albany will not save costs in the long term. There will be a fifteen to twenty minute commute each way for mail carriers whose routes are in the Claremont area. That is half an hour to forty minutes a day of just driving to where the route begins. Long term additions to cost for short term financial gain from a sale of properties-this plan is not well thought out. In addition, where did the 2.3 million sales figure come from. 2.2 acres of industrial real estate at that NW Berkeley location should have a much higher value than 2.3 million considering the potential uses for the property, such as live work lofts. That price represents a cost of $24.00/square foot. Land zoned for single family homes in that area has a per square foot land value of around $60.00 to $70.00 per square foot per county records. The 8th/Harrison property should have a much higher per square foot land value than land zoned for single family homes. Who is this sale being set up to benefit.

    • I_h8_disqus

      It will save quite a bit in the long run. The facilities cost savings will more than pay for any extra commute time required by mail deliverers. And the economy and zoning in Berkeley is what drives the value of the land. The value of undeveloped business land is lower than family home land, because of the cost of development and lease rates for businesses.

      • Guest

        There will be no facilities cost savings. The value of that land zoned for multi family or business use is more than if zoned for single family homes. It is hardly undeveloped land. That implies there are no water, sewer, electrical, natural gas connections available and there may be drainage issues. This is land in a city not raw farmland that has been recently zoned for business use.

        • I_h8_disqus

          Of course, there will be facilities cost savings. You are taking a building that has lots of utility costs, and closing it down. That will mean lots of facilities cost savings, and that is a main reason you would consolidate workers into another building so you can save on the costs associated with two buildings.

  • guest

    Why can’t the postal office lease the land. Seems to make more sense to rent, than to forever forgo income from a lease.

    • I_h8_disqus

      The post office’s business plan does not include being a landlord.

      • Guest

        If the Post Office owns a 2.2 acre vacant lot, the post office is a landlord, whether the land is leased or not leased.

        • I_h8_disqus

          You are not a landlord unless you as leasing/renting or trying to lease/rent. The postal service is a land owner.