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ANAHEIM : City, Postal Service Agree to Land Swap

As part of the city’s downtown renewal, an aging post office will be torn down and a new one built at the city’s expense under a plan approved this week.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the project, which has been on the drawing board for more than five years. Mayor Tom Daly called the existing post office, at 311 W. Broadway, “a detriment to downtown” and said that moving forward with renewal plans now is essential.

Under the agreement between the city Redevelopment Agency and the U.S. Postal Service, the agency will acquire the 33,000-square-foot post office site, which is part of an area to eventually be developed, possibly with a movie theater, a parking structure and a high-rise or mid-rise office building.

In exchange for the property, Anaheim will give the Postal Service a 16,000-square-foot site at Broadway and Clementine Street. Anaheim also will pay $1.2 million to build the new post office.

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Elisa Stipkovich, executive director of the city’s Redevelopment Agency, said that such an arrangement was necessary because the city does not have the authority to order the Postal Service, a federal agency, to abandon the existing facility. But keeping the current post office open, Stipkovich said, would hinder the city’s redevelopment plans.

“We have to deliver them a move-in-condition” post office, Stipkovich told the council, “or they won’t go.”

City officials said construction of the new postal facility will begin next spring.


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