After years of uncertainty, the historic downtown Fort Worth Post Office’s immediate future is now known. As the United States Postal Service told the City of Fort Worth on Tuesday that it will not be sold and will remain the downtown post office.
The historic building, built in 1931, was put for sale in late December after it was announced the postal service would look to move the downtown post office elsewhere.
For years, it’s been speculated the city could take it over, either as a new city hall or for another city purpose. But the city doesn’t have the available funds to make such a purchase, as the post office had planned to auction it off.
Postal customers treasure the building, from its décor inside, to its prominent appearance on West Lancaster Avenue.
“I love coming down here, I have two (post offices) to choose from, a newer one over closer to TCU and this one, and I just like the old building,” said Brandon Duck on Tuesday.
The city likes the old building, too. While it can’t afford to make the purchase, given the presumed value and asking price, it wanted to make sure the building didn’t become dilapidated or worse, destroyed.
And so on Tuesday morning the Lancaster Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District, voted unanimously to offer $7 million of TIF money and incentives to move the post office into a new building across the street.
“It’s realistic, it’s a fair bid,” said councilman Jungus Jordan, the Lancaster TIF board chair.
The future of the building would be decided by the community, as the TIF would need city council, Tarrant County College District and Tarrant County approval to formally purchase the building.
The TIF had planned to pursue that, but the city never had a chance to make the offer to the USPS.
Just after the Lancaster TIF board met, the city received a letter from Tom Samra, the Vice President of Facilities for USPS. The letter says that after another review, the postal service has decided not to sell the building.
Dear Mayor Price:
In accordance with the procedures set forth at 39 CFR 241.4(6), this is the final review determination of the Vice President, Facilities, of the United States Postal Service with respect to the Postal Service’s December 30, 2013, decision regarding relocation of retail services from the Downtown Station Post Office in Fort Worth, Texas.
After further review, based on our supplemental analysis of the business and other factors, the Postal Service has changed its strategy for the Downtown Station and will now retain the facility for Postal Service operations, including customer retail services.
Councilman Jordan said the city was “elated” with the decision.
“That’s all we were seeking,” he said. “Our mission was to make sure that that building retained valuable use for the citizens of Fort Worth and the Lancaster corridor.”
The city was hopeful the building would be maintained, improved and more people possibly brought on to work there.
USPS spokesperson Arlene Sanchez confirmed the decision by the post office in a statement to NBC 5.
After further review, the Postal Service has decided to retain the Fort Worth, TX – Downtown Station for Postal operations. The Retail operation will not be impacted. Relocation of this operation will not be required. At this time the property will not be marketed for sale.
The decision means there’s no doubt about the building’s future, it will remain a post office for now.