After setting up temporary shop on Main Street more than a year ago, the U.S. Postal Service has chosen a site at 18-26 Locust Ave. to become the permanent home of the new New Canaan post office, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III announced Tuesday.

Mallozzi released a letter he received Monday from Robert E. Mulvey, a real estate specialist for the postal service, informing him that the postal service had chosen the Locust Avenue property over another site on Park Street next to the former post office site, which is now Mrs. Green's Natural Market. The postal service had announced those two sites were the final two it was considering for the permanent post office.

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Maureen Marion, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said the postal service will lease the new space, and that the new post office would open sometime in 2016.

"While we can never anticipate every possible twist in the road, it would seem we are well on the road to a new post office in your community in 2016," Marion said. "Not early 2016, but 2016."

Mallozzi said the developers of the Locust Avenue site are in negotiations with the postal service, and a site plan is expected to be brought to the town's Planning and Zoning Commission in coming months.

"I am looking forward to the public dialogue and review of the plans for the new facility at that location," Mallozzi said. "Like so many of you, I am most anxious to have a permanent home for our post office."

Leading up to the decision, postal service spokeswoman Christine Dugas said the sites at 121 Park St. and 18-26 Locust Ave. had room for a 300-square foot loading dock for mail trucks.

On Tuesday, Kit Mariano, a downtown business owner, said she is excited for the post office to be moved to a new location with dedicated parking. The current site at 90 Main St. doesn't have dedicated parking, which some residents have said deters them from using it.

"If it will have parking that will be nice," Mariano said.

Laura Duffy, an employee of Gates Restaurant next door to the interim post office, said she was glad the post office would remain on the side of the village where she worked.

"When Town Hall reopens it will mean everything is within walking distance," Duffy said.

In November, the postal service released a list of criteria including that a permanent location should address pedestrian safety, have at least 3,000 square feet on one floor for mail processing, and parking for at least 15 vehicles.

The New Canaan Post Office left its location of more than 50 years last January.

The chosen site, which includes two buildings at 18 and 26 Locust St., includes 15 off-street parking spaces behind it and is also close to a municipal parking lot on Locust Street.

"Parking will be ample and the location is very close to additional, established town parking," Marion said. "That is good news."