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This article was updated on May 3, 2017 with new information
BY MARIE PULEO
The Lighthouse Point Post Office must vacate its longtime home at 2091 NE 36 Street due to redevelopment plans for the Venetian Isle Shopping Center, but its new location will be within the city limits.
At a public meeting held by the United States Postal Service (USPS) on April 25 in the post office lobby, a USPS real estate specialist told the roughly 60 people in attendance that an alternative location is being sought in Lighthouse Point. Originally, Pompano Beach was also being considered as a new home for the post office, but that is no longer the case.
Lighthouse Point Mayor Glenn Troast, who spoke at the meeting, explained that the map the USPS originally provided to city officials showed the USPS was looking to relocate the post office as far west as Dixie Highway, which would have included Pompano. There had been confusion about the parameters of the search because the real estate specialist, who is based in Texas, didn’t realize the Lighthouse Point city limit stops at Federal Highway. The real estate specialist had also been under the impression that the zip code 33064 is only for Lighthouse Point, but it also includes Pompano and a small area of Deerfield Beach.
The USPS is looking to rent retail space of approximately 3,800 square feet, which is the amount of retail space in the post office’s current location. The new site will not need a loading area for a 53-foot tractor trailer, which the current location has, because the new location will be a postal retail store only. The new location will, however, require room for a scissor lift to move packages to and from smaller trucks.
No specific date has been announced for the move. All operations will continue out of the post office’s current location until the new facility is operational. Typically, the transfer of services from one post office to another takes place on a weekend after hours so everything is ready to run at the new location on the following Monday morning.
At the public meeting, residents were encouraged to provide feedback about the relocation project, and to suggest any new sites that could be considered by the USPS.
Following the meeting, the City Commission passed a resolution urging the USPS “to do all things possible and necessary to continue to operate a post office within the City of Lighthouse Point as may be required due to the closure of the current location,” as it is in “the best interest of the residents and businesses of the city.” The resolution authorizes the City Administration to work with the USPS as needed in identifying a new location for the post office.
Copies of the resolution were sent to Congressman Ted Deutch, Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, Postmaster General Megan Brennan and USPS Vice President for Area Operations for the Southern Area Shaun E. Mossman.
On April 26, Mayor Troast and the City Administrator drove around Lighthouse Point with the USPS real estate specialist and identified several possible relocation sites, which the USPS is going to review.
USPS officials conducted a federally mandated public meeting at the Lighthouse Point Post Office on March 16, but because Lighthouse Point city officials hadn’t been properly informed of the meeting, or been given enough time to notify residents, Mayor Troast sent a letter to the USPS in Washington, D.C., and to Congressman Ted Deutch of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. As a result, the USPS agreed to schedule the public meeting on April 25, and to extend the period for accepting written public comments from April 14 until May 25.
The city’s post office has been at its current location for the past 51 years. According to the USPS, an eviction notice was received last July from the landlord, Brixmor Property Group, which owns the Venetian Isle Shopping Center. The long-term lease for the Lighthouse Point Post Office expired last February, and since then the USPS has been renting the location on a month-to-month basis.
The shopping center’s redevelopment plans may eventually include a reconfiguration of the Publix that is currently adjacent to the post office, but a regional media relations representative for Publix said there are no plans in the works at this time. The last “major remodel” of the Venetian Isle Publix was in 1987. According to the representative, Publix generally does a “complete remodel” or “teardown and rebuild” of a store every 25 to 30 years, but nothing is currently planned.
A spokesperson for Brixmor Property Group said, “We are currently exploring redevelopment options for the center, but we have not finalized plans at this time.”
The USPS is accepting public comments on the post office relocation until May 15, 2017. Residents are encouraged to provide comments to:
Damian Salazar, Real Estate Specialist
US Postal Service
PO Box 667180
Dallas, TX 75266-7180