Post Office Seeking To Extend Lease

Posted: June 12, 1986

Narberth residents may find themselves without a post office in September.

In March, the U.S. Postal Service's leased building at 144 N. Narberth Ave. was sold to A&H Bloom Co., a real estate developer in Pennsauken, N.J., for $425,000.

Postal Service spokesman Margaret King said the new owners had proposed a long-term lease at an increased rent to replace the current lease, which will expire Aug. 31.

Negotiations are at a stalemate, and the Postal Service is seeking a short- term lease extension while advertising for a larger building, King said.

The Postal Service's concerns are two-fold, she said: the new, higher rent and a need to expand the Narberth facility. The building has 4,200 square feet. Postal authorities said they are seeking a building with 8,000 square feet. The Postal Service is looking for buildings of similar size for the nearby Wynnewood and Merion stations as well.

Neither the Postal Service nor A&H Bloom would name the present or proposed rental rates.

Arthur Rudner, a spokesman for A&H Bloom, declined to discuss the Postal Service's situation if it were to lose its lease on the property in Narberth's central shopping area. An editorial cartoon in a local paper depicted letter carriers as "street people of Narberth" after receiving an eviction notice

from their new owner.

Rudner said his company had no intention of evicting the post office.

"We're responsible business people," he said.

If the Postal Service were to be evicted, it could operate out of trailers until new quarters were found, according to one Postal Service official who requested anonymity.

"We've had this happen to us before," the official said. "People may not have realized it, but we would operate out of trailers until we could get another building."

According to borough manager William Martin, the Bloom company would have some difficulty leasing the property if the post office vacates, because the property is zoned quasi-governmental. That means, Martin said, that only governmental offices can operate at that location.

Martin said that Bloom had actively marketed the property without mentioning its quasi-governmental restriction.

"But I know the new owners are aware of the zoning," Martin said. "They can't come in here and get a zoning change just like that, either, because that would be spot zoning. Spot zoning is not allowed in Narberth.

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