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Jun 24, 2008 9:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Postal Service breaks ground on new 11968 post office

Jun 24, 2008 9:23 PM

A plan more than a decade in the making finally came to fruition this month as the U.S. Postal Service broke ground for a new post office on North Sea Road in Southampton Village.

A Postal Service spokesperson said the new $3 million post office is expected to open in late spring or early summer next year, when the Postal Service will vacate the current base of the 11968 zip code on Nugent Street.

The new facility will be approximately 8,800 square feet in size, making it 2,500 square feet larger than the Nugent Street office, where the Postal Service has been located since 1964. Once the Postal Service leaves the leased office, the building’s future will be up to the property owner, said Tom Gaynor of the Postal Service’s public affairs department. According to town records, the facility belongs to Louis Bobrow of Jamaica, New York.

The Postal Service also leases space on Jagger Lane to house additional P.O. boxes, which it will no longer need once the new office opens. Plans for the new office call for 3,000 P.O. boxes to replace the 1,698 P.O. boxes on Nugent Street and 937 on Jagger Lane.

Closing the auxiliary Jagger Lane office will save the Postal Service $28,080 a year, Mr. Gaynor said, and annual rent on the Nugent Street has been $209,000.

Another benefit of the new office the Postal Service sees is that the 2.2-acre lot will also offer significantly more parking spaces.

The Postal Service has owned the North Sea Road lot across from Schmidt’s Market since 1998, when it purchased the property for about $1.2 million from a group of village residents and officials. The group had bought the land and secured the permits for a post office to lure the Postal Service away from plans to build on County Road 39 outside the village.

Because the Postal Service faced limited federal funding for a number of years, it was forced to put many of its capital projects, including the new Southampton Post Office, on hold. In fact, back in the 1990s, the service had to abandon plans to build a 17,000-square-foot building to serve the 11968 zip code. As funds became available, new construction projects have slowly been reinstated.

In 2004, village officials, led by then village Mayor Joseph Romanosky Jr., launched an effort to preserve the North Sea Road parcel from development and keep it as a park. Mr. Romanosky had said that the village was unable to get the funding and support needed to purchase and preserve it.

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