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Mon, Aug. 19

For sale: Prescott downtown post office on the market

A for-sale sign went up recently outside the U.S. Post Office building in downtown Prescott.  (Cindy Barks/Courier)

A for-sale sign went up recently outside the U.S. Post Office building in downtown Prescott. (Cindy Barks/Courier)

It hasn’t come as a complete surprise to the community, but recent developments have confirmed it: The historic U.S. Post Office building in downtown Prescott is definitely on the market.

City officials point out that the building had been shown by real estate agents a number of times over the past several months, indicating that the property was for sale earlier in the year.

Those showings came in the wake of a presentation by a U.S. Postal Service official to the Prescott City Council in November 2018 about the possible sale of the building.

On Nov. 27, Sandra Rybicki, a Texas-based real estate specialist with the U.S. Postal Service, told the council that the Postal Service “is always looking for ways to reduce costs, consolidate operations.”

Her public presentation occurred several weeks after Mayor Greg Mengarelli had received a letter from the Postal Service stating, “The Postal Service is considering relocation because the current location is larger than is typically required to conduct our ongoing operations.”

At the Nov. 27 meeting, council members appeared to view the sale of the building as inevitable. Much of the discussion focused on future uses of the building.

Still, local residents have expressed some surprise at the recent appearance of a “for sale” sign on the building.

Prescott Community Outreach Manager John Heiney said the sign does not indicate a change in the building’s status.

“We checked with the real estate company, and nothing has changed, except that they decided to put a sign up,” Heiney stated in a recent email.

The building is listed by the JLL commercial real estate firm. An agent with the company referred all questions about the pending sale to Rod Spurgeon with the U.S. Postal Service’s Corporate Communications.

Spurgeon said in a Thursday, July 11, email that the real estate team is taking offers on the property, and that interested parties can submit a bid to the broker.

“We do not have a price for the building in the listing,” Spurgeon said.

In November, Rybicki told the council that a number of issues were still being reviewed. Among them was finding a new location for a downtown-area post office.

This week, Spurgeon said, “As for relocating our retail operations, we do not currently have a specific site identified.”

Meanwhile, Spurgeon said, “We are looking at locations close to the existing facility, but will also consider a sale/leaseback where we lease a portion of the current building for our operations.”

A four-page listing brochure describes the 1931 building as containing three stories plus a full basement. It sits on 16,260 square feet of land, and contains 25,778 square feet of rentable space within its levels.

The listing also mentions the building’s “two-story interior courtroom.”

The terms for purchase of the unpriced building are cash, and tours are available immediately.

The building’s architecture is described as “an example of Beaux-Arts classicism.” The listing adds: “By 1931, this style had essentially been abandoned nationally for all but official structures. As such, the building is a rare and architecturally excellent example of the last phase of the Beaux-Arts style.”

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The property comes with seven employee parking spaces and six municipal spaces, according to the listing.

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