The historic post office on Allston Way is not the only postal service property for sale in Berkeley.
Officials have placed a 2.2-acre vacant lot at 1150 Eighth Street up for sale for $2.3 million. The lot, which sits next door to the postal services’ main processing facility in Berkeley, can accommodate an 85,000 square foot building, according to a USPS website.
The property is being listed by Cornish & Carey Commercial.
The listing of another site up for sale comes about two weeks after news came out that the postal service planned to sell Berkeley’s Main Post office on Allston Way. That building is a historic 1915 Renaissance Revival structure, modeled on Filippo Brunelleschi’s Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, where its listing states the work “symbolized the city’s coming of age”. It also contains a WPA mural by Suzanne Scheur depicting early Berkeley history.
The post office is planning to find another retail location in downtown Berkeley, according to USPS spokesman Augustine Ruiz, Jr. The mail sorting functions now done at the Main Post Office will move to the processing facility at 1150 Eighth Street. The property for sale is right next door to that, said Ruiz.
Nils Moe, an aide to Mayor Tom Bates, said the mayor’s office had not yet been informed that the Eighth Street lot was for sale. Bates issued a press release last week pledging to try and bring the Main Post office building back on the property tax rolls.
“While the sale is some time away, my goal as Mayor is to maintain this beautiful building both internally and externally,” Bates wrote. “If the building has to be sold, my goal is to put the building back on the property tax roll while maintaining the lovely interior and functioning postal services. I also want to make sure that the public is guaranteed access to the interior of the building and especially to the 1936 mural that depicts figures from California’s Spanish and pioneer history. ”
The Main Post office has not yet been officially listed for sale. At least eight other properties in the Bay Area are listed.
The postal service has warned for years that it is on the verge of financial collapse. The US Senate passed a rare bipartisan measure in April that would give the USPS $11 billion to offer buyouts and early retirement incentives for its staff, and to pay down some of its debt. Executives of the postal service hope to cut $22 billion in costs by 2015. Last year, USPS delivered 168 billion pieces of mail, down from 202.8 billion pieces a decade ago.