The U.S. Postal Service has signed a 10-year lease on a future building proposed by a developer on Locust Avenue, clearing a hurdle for construction to start on the long-awaited permanent post office.

“We are happy to report that a lease has been signed that will permit us to move forward with the New Canaan Post Office at the (new address) location,” said David D. Mastroianni, district manager for the U.S. Postal Service’s Connecticut Valley District, which includes New Canaan. “Signing the lease is an important first step toward the delivery of our new, first-class home in the community. We join New Canaan in welcoming this development.”

Planning and zoning officials unanimously approved an application to build a new post office at 18-26 Locust Avenue in May after resolving concerns about whether a two-way driveway on the west side of a proposed post office building at 18-26 Locust Avenue will result in a congested lot and potential safety and liability issues for the town.

Plans call for a two-story brick, cupola-topped, Federal-style structure with a total of 8,220 square feet and office space on the second floor.

Under the approved plan cars will enter the parking lot from the east side of the building and leave from the west side onto Locust Avenue.

The postal service chose the property at 18-26 Locust Avenue in February more than a year after the post office left its home of more than 50 years on Park Street. Since then, the post office has been operating at 90 Main Street without dedicated parking.

Richard Carratu, the principal of LJ18 Properties LLC, which owns the Locust Avenue property, said with the lease resolved he is hopeful to complete additional planning requirements with the postal service to clear the way to demolish the existing building and begin work.

Carratu said town leaders, including First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, as well as the town land use boards, deserve credit their work on the project.

“This is a huge step forward and we’re excited but we have a lot of work ahead,” Carratu said. “We’ll all celebrate when the post office gets to occupy the building and right now we’ve got our heads down to work together with the post office.”