Postal officials start search for site of new, larger Hampstead facility Town wants post office to remain in downtown

November 25, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The U.S. Postal Service plans to find a site to relocate its cramped Hampstead operation before September, postal officials said yesterday.

The 3,600-square-foot post office at 4005 Houck Ave. no longer meets the needs of the growing community, said postal official John Turbin, who said he will meet with the Town Council on Dec. 8.

Turbin said his role with the real estate division of the Postal Service is to find a building or a parcel of land large enough to provide 14,000 square feet of office space.

The town is adamant about keeping the post office downtown, said Neil M. Ridgely, town manager.

"My personal preference would be an adaptive reuse of an existing building," he said.

Turpin said it is premature to seek specific answers.

"We're just getting started, and the first step is letting the local community know our needs and intentions," Turpin said.

While space is limited at the existing facility, that might not be as big a factor as working conditions for postal employees, said Helen Skillman, Baltimore district spokeswoman for the Postal Service.

Before making any decisions, postal authorities will listen to residents, Skillman said.

Ridgely, who also serves as zoning administrator for the town's Planning and Zoning Commission, said he will brief the panel on Postal Service plans at its meeting Monday.

"Keeping it downtown is vital, especially in light of the unknown effects that bypass construction may have on the central business district," Ridgely said. Relocation is a planning issue, and the town wants to play a role, he said.

"Everything we do downtown is important to a healthy business economy, and we want to assist [postal officials] in finding the best suitable site," Ridgely said.

Pub Date: 11/25/98

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