Bronx President Vows to Fight Any Self-Storage Use for Historic Post Office Building

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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will be vacating its historical building in the South Bronx, N.Y., and borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. does not want to see the structure occupied by a self-storage business. Although no plans or bids have been put forth by the USPS for the block-long building at 558 Grand Concourse, Diaz spoke out last week in opposition to possible storage projects during a panel discussion of borough presidents hosted by the New York Law School.

“The building, the way that it is now, is ripe for, say, a storage company to come in,” Diaz said. “And I will crazy-glue myself to the door before I will allow that to happen.”

Constructed in 1935, the 170,560-square-foot Bronx General Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The landmark includes 13 large egg tempura murals created in 1938 by artists Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson, who were commissioned by the U.S. Treasury, according to the USPS. The collective works are titled “Resources of America.”

The four-story building’s historical status limits its potential uses, according to the source. There are also preservation covenants for the building and murals that will be included in the private sale, according to the listing by the USPS.

Diaz called the postal facility “a beautiful, magnificent building,” and said he would like to see access by the general public preserved in its future use. He mentioned “a mini-market” or something academic-related as possibilities. It is across the street from Eugenio María de Hostos Community College.

As part of the sale, the USPS will require a leaseback agreement of up to 12 months while its new facility is completed. During the leaseback, the USPS will pay rent of $1, while also paying all operating expenses and taxes for the property, according to the sale listing.

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