December 26, 2013

Post Office Sale Being Negotiated, Branch to Move to Hulfish Street

Negotiations with a California-based development company are underway for the sale of Princeton’s post office on Palmer Square. Once the arrangements are completed, the branch will move to a smaller site on the Square at 51-53 Hulfish Street, according to a spokesman for the real estate firm that is brokering the deal.

LCOR Ventures is the buyer of the historic building that has housed the Princeton post office since 1934. The company is not ready to comment on just how the space would be used. “They don’t know yet,” said Alec Monaghan, first vice president of CBRE Inc., the real estate firm handling the sale. “It could be a single user. Or it could be multiple users, as in shops, or a restaurant.”

David Newton, vice president of Palmer Square Management, cautioned Monday that the sale of the old building is still pending. “It’s still subject to the lease getting finalized, and we’re hopeful that will happen soon,” he said. “I think it’s very, very important that the post office stay in the downtown where there is easy access from the University.”

CBRE is also representing other post office locations throughout the country as the United State Post Office downsizes. LCOR is a national developer specializing in public/private partnerships, according to the company’s website. The firm’s list of projects includes Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport.

The Princeton post office will be scaling down from 12,000 to about 2,000 square feet if the deal is finalized and it moves to its new home on Hulfish Sreet, currently the temporary location of a toy store. The office should be up and running by early to late May, according to Mr. Monaghan.

“I think it’s going to be a wonderful space,” he said. “There’s more light. Even the clerks I talk to at the post office are happy about it. It’s better for them and it’s definitely better for the public.”

Some residents were hoping that the post office would relocate to a site like the Princeton Shopping Center, where there is ample parking available. Others hoped it would move from Palmer Square to the middle of downtown. The new location has some on-street, metered spaces in front and is opposite the Chambers Street parking garage. “I look on it as a positive that it’s not in the middle of town,” said Mr. Monaghan. “It’s a better location for a quick in and out.”