Post office building is still for sale

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Although a “Sale Pending” sticker recently appeared on the downtown Camas Post Office’s “For Sale” sign, United States Postal Service officials say there has been no official purchase of the historic building.

Ron Anderson, public relations coordinator for the USPS Portland postal district, said Monday that offers on the property at 440 N.E. Fifth Ave. are still being accepted.

“Although we have had interest in the property and some negotiation requests, the Camas Post Office still remains actively for sale,” Anderson said. “There has been no signed purchase and sale agreement.”

The downtown Camas main post office site was slated for consolidation by the USPS in January 2010 because of its close proximity to another post office about 1.4 miles away at 2455 S.E. Eighth Ave. — referred to as the “Camas carrier annex.”

“The down economy is impacting everyone, including the post office,” Anderson has said. “It just doesn’t make sense to operate two separate locations that are in proximity to one another.”

In recent years the USPS has seen a significant reduction in revenue, and has worked to cut costs in a variety of ways. According to the USPS, the Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in revenues in 2010, and projections call for it to be in the red by $6.4 billion this year.

The national mail system receives no tax subsidy for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

When USPS moves forward on the consolidation, all services previously available at the downtown site will be moved to existing space in the Camas carrier annex.

Anderson said the Fifth Avenue building would not be consolidated until it is sold. A portion of the proceeds from the sale is expected to help fund the construction of a public retail center on the Eighth Avenue site. Additions would include a service counter, lobby and post office boxes to replace the more than 700 that are used at the downtown Camas site.

Tucked behind Gunderson Les Schwab Tire Center in Camas, the carrier annex first opened in 1999 and is currently used primarily as a home base where carriers pick up mail for their home delivery routes, and for customers to pick up packages.

The downtown Camas post office has been open since 1939, and on the National Register of Historic Places since 1991.