Developer: New post office could open within the year
Published 9:42 am, Wednesday, September 9, 2015
New Canaan’s new post office could be open within a year now that a 10-year lease agreement has been signed, the developer said.
Richard Carratu, the developer of the selected site at 18-26 Locust Avenue, also said there is no solid start date to demolish the building and begin work on plans for the new Federal-style post officethat was approved in May by town land use officials.
Carratu shared blueprints of the proposed post office at a Sept. 3 news conference at Town Hall with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., and First Selectman Rob Mallozzi.
Under the plan approved in May, the post office will occupy the first floor of the new building with office space on the second floor to be rented out to tenants, Carratu said.
After the closure of the town’s former post office last February, Himes intervened along with Mallozzi and community groups to try to obtain a commitment from the U.S. Postal Service to reestablish a permanent home in town.
“I’m just thrilled because this created a huge amount of anxiety in the town of New Canaan and Rob was a huge champion for this thing, really really focused and really responsive to the people of New Canaan,” Himes said.
“And I have to thank the post office too — they operate with a lot of rules that are about the safety of their employees and about traffic safety and about the disability access and New Canaan is a unique place where the land is enormously expensive and the citizens have a historic looking downtown. So they were operating under a lot more constraints than they were used to . . . There were a lot of moments there where Rob and I were quite concerned but I have to hand it to him for being flexible and working with us.”
Mallozzi said the shift in location to the post office would mesh well with planned development on the Locust Avenue area, including mixed-use housing and retail developments planned to be built.
“In two years when we’re there to pick up our packages at Christmas, all we are going to think about is what a great building,” Mallozzi said. “…We are going to forget all the angst we went through and all those phone calls because we have not only a Post Office but we will have a much, much, much more beautiful building in that spot than was there before. It is kind of a home run for all of us.”