116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Iowa City Post Office is set to move to a smaller, cheaper, but undetermined location.
The development comes after the city announced a public meeting -- slated for Aug. 7 -- where officials with the United States Postal Service will discuss their plans to vacate the existing space at 400 S. Clinton St. to relocate to a smaller space nearby.
Jeff Davidson, Iowa City's director of planning and community development, said, in discussions with the U.S. Postal Service's real estate specialist, it was clear that the postal service intends to stay downtown. He wasn't aware of whether the U.S. Postal Service had decided on a specific location, and said those details would likely be divulged during the meeting next week.
Davidson said the post office intends to lease a new space, meaning the city's involvement in the move would be minimal.
"We will do what we can to try and facilitate the move if that's what they decide to do," Davidson said. "It would certainly be a priority for the city to keep them downtown."
The Iowa City Post Office currently resides in a building owned by the U.S. General Services Administration, which manages federal property. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has been in conversations with the U.S. General Services Administration about acquiring land south of the Johnson County Courthouse -- where a federal parking lot resides -- for several years. That space is also owned by the U.S. General Services Administration. At one time, there were discussions of using the land to build a new Johnson County Justice Center.
"We've heard for some time that the post office was looking to downsize and I think nationally the volume of business in the post office is a fraction of what it used to be and it's trending in that direction with all the electronic communication, so I do think it's an issue that's being dealt with by post offices all over the country," Davidson said.
Richard Watkins, Corporate Communications for the U.S. Postal Service out of Kansas City, said the move, to a smaller building with a cheaper lease, will not lead to employee layoffs. More specific details on a location or developer were not immediately available Wednesday. He said the U.S. Postal Service is losing $25 million per day, even after reducing its cost base by more than $16 billion and reducing its career workforce, with layoffs, by 202,000 since 2006.
Though it remains unclear exactly where the new post office will be, Davidson said if it remains in the same area, it will likely be one of many developments in the city's Riverfront Crossings development.
"It's definitely going to be an exciting place for the next ten years, and we want to keep the post office in there, I think that's an important facility for the community to have in the downtown area," Davidson said.
Davidson said the public meeting next week is likely the first step in the process of moving the post office. He said he, Iowa City Manager Tom Markus, and Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek will likely be in attendance. The meeting is open to the public, and U.S. Postal Service officials will be available to discuss public comments and questions.
The meeting is in Emma Harvat Hall, 410 E. Washington St. from 10 to 11 a.m.