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Harlem Post Office to Relocate But Residents Fear Continued Poor Service

By Gustavo Solis | September 7, 2017 12:27pm
 This post office, which residents say is usually understaffed, is going to move to 138 th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard next year.
This post office, which residents say is usually understaffed, is going to move to 138 th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard next year.
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DNAinfo/Gustavo Solis

HARLEM — The U.S. Postal Service wants the community to know there will be no change in service when the College Station Post Office at 140th Street relocates two blocks south.

That's what residents are afraid of.

Gregory Lackey, a realty asset manager for the USPS, told residents Wednesday night that the new building has 2,900 square feet, three service counters, and an automated postal machine. They hope to complete the move to 138th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard by April.

“If there’s no difference in services then the complaints that the community is expressing to you, why would they be any different at the new site?” asked Stanley Gleaton, a member of the community board.

Other residents demanded that the new post office have a dedicated line for seniors so that they don’t have to stand for long periods of time while they wait for a long line to move.

Lackey politely explained that he handles building sales at USPS and could not answer any questions about the quality of service at College Station.

That prompted calls for other postal representatives to come to Harlem and hear complaints about their post office.

Abena Smith, a local resident and president of the 32 Precinct Community Council, said that it isn't just seniors who have to wait through long lines.

“Presently, the service is extremely poor,” she said. “You don’t have to be a senior to take a chair and beverage and some snacks if you go to College Station. That’s how long the line is.”

USPS is moving to 138th Street because they are selling the existing building on 140th Street, Lackey said.

The existing post office is 80 years old, needs roof repairs and upgrades to the air conditioning and heating units.

Most of the space in the building goes unused, which is why USPS decided to sell it.

Because the sale hasn’t closed, Lackey declined to say who bought the building and how much they paid for it.