A group of Northfield-area investors have put in a bid to purchase the Northfield Post Office property, according to the Star Tribune.
Keith Covey of the Save Our Post Office task force told the newspaper that a bid is pending on the property on Bridge Square. He said the bid for the historic 1936 building is from a group of local investors who would like to get it into "friendly local hands."
The Postal Service previously turned down a $1 offer from the City of Northfield to purchase the property and allow the USPS to stay in the facility at no cost.
As it stands, the USPS has identified the downtown office as one of thousands of locations to consolidate or close. In this case, the USPS wants to move the downtown operation to the USPS postal carrier annex at 2101 Cannon Road, near Target in the southern end of the city.
The Northfield Post Office will remain in downtown Northfield until the building sells, USPS spokesperson Peter Nowacki told the Star Tribune.
Covey told the paper that a real estate agent told him that the USPS was waiting for a better offer than the one offered from the group of investors.
This spring, the historic Bridge Square post office was one of dozens of properties listed as on the market on the United States Postal Service’s properties-for-sale website. The asking price for the 13,251 square-foot building, half-acre lot and 15 parking spaces was $845,000. It's now listed for $795,000.
The ad reads:
14 Bridge Square, Northfield, Minnesota represents a unique opportunity to purchase a unique and beautiful former US Postal Service facility. The building is 13,251 SF and is located on 0.53 acres. This architecturally distinct building was built in 1936 and sits prominently in the historic center of Northfield. The property includes 15 surface stalls in the off-street parking lot.
Several groups, including the Save Our Post Office task force, the city's Heritage Preservation Commission and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, have been working to keep a downtown Post Office presence.
Because the Post Office is part of a nationally designated historical area, the USPS must consult with all involved parties, including the Minnesota Historical Society, about how to reduce the local impact of closing.
In March 2011, the USPS announced the downtown Northfield Post Office was one of 16,000 sites nationwide being considered for closure as part of a cost-cutting plan as the USPS continues to lose money as people turn away from traditional mail services for other options of communication and sending packages.