The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will move its East Palo Alto branch to Ravenswood Shopping Center, concluding a monthslong search for a permanent new post office. An opening date has yet to be determined.
The search for a new post office began after the landlord at the Bay Road location decided to redevelop the property and not renew to the lease with the Postal Service. In June, the agency held a community meeting where residents shared their opinions on various issues regarding a new post office, such as its location and the services it provides.
"Whenever we have to relocate retail services that affects customers that need to do business, we need to have a public meeting. And it's very important for us to hear their concerns," Postal Service spokesman Augustine Ruiz said.
Although the meeting only had two community members in attendance, for 40 minutes the residents discussed the importance of having a post office that is easily accessible, with three Postal Service officials in attendance.
East Palo Alto resident Lourdes Best had expressed wanting to see the new post office in the vicinity of the Ravenswood Shopping Center at the June meeting. The new location of the post office will, in fact, be tucked right into the Ravenswood Shopping Center, making it close to many everyday destinations such as Target, Home Depot, the Cardenas Markets grocery store and other various businesses.
East Palo Alto Senior Center Executive Director Millicent Grant said she was very pleased with the new location of the post office as she personally frequents the shopping center and would like taking care of all her business in one congregated place.
"The seniors go to the shopping center because of the grocery store, and they like Starbucks and they like Target. That's a one-stop shopping center," she said. "Having the post office there, I would love that very much."
She said the previous location had been less desirable due to heavy traffic when seniors are crossing the street and said the shopping center is much safer.
At the meeting, officials said one of the main goals for the new location included making sure it stays within the geographic limits -- bordered to the north by Kavanaugh Drive/Notre Dame Avenue, south by East Bayshore Road, east by Pulgas Avenue and west by Willow Road -- and that it has an East Palo Alto zip code since traveling to a Palo Alto office is inconvenient for many residents.
"Considerations were certainly taken from customers who attended the meeting, or anyone who wrote in to us," Ruiz said.
The new post office will offer the same services as its previous location, though the business hours have not been finalized.