By Aaron Blevins, 4/12/2012
Plans Call for Nat King Cole Station to be Sold
In a cost-savings move, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is planning to relocate the Nat King Cole Post Office at West Third Street and Western Avenue in the near future.
Richard Maher, USPS spokesperson, said officials are planning to sell the property, reassign its carriers to the Los Feliz Post Office on North Vermont Avenue and lease new retail space near the Nat King Cole station.
“We’ve got too much space there,” Maher said, adding that there is excess space at the Los Feliz station.
He said USPS has notified the Nat King Cole Post Office employees of the change, which is the first step of the process. Maher said the organization would then hold a public meeting to discuss the community’s wants and needs. A 30-day written input period will follow.
Maher said the post office has not determined where the new, leased space will be located. He said the USPS will include community member comments in its decision making. It will house the Nat King Cole station post office boxes and retail services.
“There won’t be any impact to mail delivery,” Maher said. “The community is not going to be losing any services.”
However, some community members are worried that services may suffer. Resident Lorna Edgar Stulman received the letter sent to Nat King Cole station employees, and it makes no mention of USPS leasing a new retail location.
“We need that post office,” Stulman said.
She said the outreach has commenced. Stulman said she has contacted the office of Congressmember Karen Bass (D-California) and Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, 4th District, for help. She’s also actively alerting her neighbors.
Stulman said service has already started to suffer at the Nat King Cole Post Office. She said her mail now comes at 5 p.m., which is too late if a piece of mail requires immediate attention.
“That’s like next day [service],” she said. “It’s like a day taken.”
Maher said the USPS is looking to recoup $25 billion in lost revenue. He said the relocation will offer the post office immediate capital, “which we’re in desperate need of,” through the sale of the property. The organization may be able to offer the same services with fewer administrators as well, Maher said.
“We have to make changes in our operations,” he added.
Maher said the announcement is not related to the consolidation process that may claim the Hollywood Pavilion Station at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
USPS officials are studying the feasibility of closing 30 branches in Los Angeles and Orange counties and approximately 3,700 nationwide. Maher said the study has been put on hold until May 15 as Congress seeks a budget solution.
He said the USPS will issue press releases and post notices at the Nat King Cole Post Offices when public meetings are scheduled.
Maher reiterated that no decision has been made as of yet, and no timeline has been created for the proposed closure.