City Councilor Liz Breadon said today that the USPS has signed a letter of intent to move into the building that could replace the crumbling Harvard Avenue post office it shut in 2019.
Allston Civic Association President Anthony D'Isidoro, though, says several factors mean you shouldn't start counting your stamps just yet.
Breadon said the letter of intent is contingent on the building's current owner, Eden Properties, winning BPDA approval to replace the shuttered post office and several other nearby buildings with a six-story, 170-unit apartment building. The USPS also has to give the deal one final look-over, she said.
Since the closing of the Allston post office, the roughly 77,000 residents of Allston have been served by the Brighton Center post office.
Eden Properties is scheduled to meet with the project's impact advisory group - nearby residents assembled by the BPDA, on Oct. 26.
In a posting to local mailing lists, D'Isidoro said he praises work by Breadon and other elected officials, such as state Sen. Will Brownsberger and US Rep. Ayanna Pressley, but cautioned Breadon's announcement has some "glaring holes" in it:
Although it is a step forward, keep in mind a lease still needs to be negotiated including levels of service, the government needs to fund that lease, the project needs to stand on its own and receive city approval and pickup and delivery needs to be worked out with BTD.
The biggest concern and the weakest link in this proposal, especially given the uncertain economic times ahead of us, what guarantees is Eaton Properties prepared to make assuming all the issues are addressed above, that the project is going to built at all. Will financing be available, will the return on investment diminish over time, will the project be sold, when can we expect the building to come online, is it better to negotiate with existing commercial/retail space that could potentially come online faster. (The community has been waiting for almost four years, how much longer do they wait.)
I thank the Councilor for all her efforts. Time is of the essence. I just wonder given the head winds ahead and recent developments overseas, does this proposal give us the best chance to meet the need.
Is this another leap of faith we are being asked to take with the outcome far from guaranteed.