Blame the hot real estate market in Raleigh, but the Cameron Village post office won’t have a permanent place to land once its lease runs out on Oberlin Road.
After decades of sending and receiving mail at 505 Oberlin Road, the Cameron Village post office found out last year it would have to move after its landlord, York Properties, decided to renovate the 1960s-era building it was using. WakeMed will be moving into the building and the post office has about 90 days before it will have to leave the space.
The post office will be moving temporarily into the back of Oberlin Baptist Church just down the street at 806 Oberlin Road.
“We haven’t found a long-term place, so what we have decided to do is build a temporary post office for you,” Richard Hancock, a real estate specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, told a crowd of residents gathered at Oberlin Baptist. “At least we will have a post office (here). The other solution is to move it to other post offices.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
“But this has nothing to do with the long term.”
Real estate in Raleigh is getting more competitive, but Cameron Village is one of the more attractive areas in all the city. With the Postal Service’s requirements — 4,500 square feet, a dock and at least 30 parking spots — the task of finding a new space is especially difficult.
Postal Service officials hope to stay within a mile radius of the current location, but if that is not possible, they will widen the scope. A soon-to-be-vacated Wells Fargo building nearby, which some residents speculated could be a possibility, has already been ruled out.
Hancock said he couldn’t commit to a timeline, but he is confident that the post office will only be located at Oberlin Baptist for nine months to a year, while a permanent spot is located.
The move to the church shouldn’t interrupt any services, change any P.O. Box numbers or alter the post office’s hours of operations, Hancock said. The church, with its 55 parking spots, will have more parking than the current post office location.
The church congregation still has to vote on the agreement with the Postal Service, which would pay an undisclosed amount in rent and construction costs for the space. A vote will likely be held next week, and the post office could open there in mid-June.
If voted down, the situation would grow more complicated for the Postal Service.
Pastor Barry Young said the revenue from the post office would benefit the church, which has around 100 active members.
“I thought it was an opportunity,” Young said. “The back of our church has been uncompleted for the last 10 years. We have open space that we are not using, so it was an opportunity for them and the church. ... Completing the back of the building is my goal.”
Young said he thought the congregation would vote for the agreement, but some members expressed reservations.
“We just need to be concerned that whatever the post office wants to do, it does not harm the church even though it looks like it would help the church,” said Willette Teasley, a member of the church’s board of trustees. She added that she would like an attorney to look at the contract.
Hancock said the Postal Service’s finance office has ruled out buying a space in the area. The Postal Service will instead be looking for a 10-year lease, with options to extend to 20 years.
“We have some feelers out there. We are keeping an open mind,” he said.
Hancock asked residents to send their thoughts and potential locations to him at the Postal Service at PO Box 27497, Greensboro, NC 27498. Email comments can also be sent to Richard Hancock at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org.