MANHATTAN BEACH — Postal officials expect to decide this week whether to move into larger quarters on Manhattan Beach Boulevard in spite of objections from neighbors and city officials.
The proposed site at 855 Manhattan Beach Blvd. is ideal because of its size and central location, said Jerry Lindsey, assistant real estate specialist for the Postal Service. But he added, "There seems to be some negative response from the community."
Mayor Gil Archuletta said the site, next to a residential area and Pacific Elementary School, is not "an appropriate location" for a mail-delivery operation, which he called "a heavy traffic-generating activity."
"Large delivery trucks in and out create an impact, obviously, on a residential neighborhood and the school adjacent to it," Archuletta said.
Need More Room
The Postal Service says it has outgrown its Manhattan Beach office at 1007 N. Sepulveda Blvd., which opened in 1958. Postmaster Vince Okamura said the Sepulveda office, at 9,070 square feet, is no longer big enough to provide efficient service. He said a building of 30,000 square feet is needed for mail sorting and delivery.
The city suggested an alternate location near Rosecrans and Aviation boulevards in the northeast corner of Manhattan Beach, but the Postal Service decided it was "out of reasonable reach for most of the community," said Janet Rosenbloom, an aide to Rep. Mel Levine (D-Westchester), who looked into the situation at Archuletta's request.
Lindsey said the Manhattan Beach Boulevard site was chosen from three possibilities "because it was larger in square footage. It also had a price tag lower than the other two."
On Jan. 22, Lindsey said that the Postal Service ordered an environmental assessment report on the Manhattan Beach Boulevard site in response to neighborhood concerns. It found that there would be no significant impact on the neighborhood.
Lindsey said the final decision on the Manhattan Beach Boulevard site is expected to come from the Postal Service's regional headquarters this week. If that site is dropped, he said, "we'll just continue to look for other viable sites."