The United States Postal Service opened a new post office Monday in Seattle’s Central District, bringing service back to the neighborhood after a gap of about 20 months.
The new branch is located on the ground floor of an apartment building at the southwest corner of 23rd Avenue and East Union Street. The site was previously an electric bike store.
The Postal Service previously operated a post office for decades in the Midtown Center retail complex, at the southeast corner of 23rd and Union. That branch closed in January 2019, as the complex was demolished to make way for a new development.
Central District customers were told to use a post office on Broadway near John Street, on Capitol Hill. That change made it more difficult for many residents, particularly seniors, to access Postal Service mail and shipping services.
The Postal Service initially considered taking a space in the new development planned for the southeast corner of 23rd and Union. But that would have taken longer.
Some Central District residents lobbied for a more expeditious plan, supported by City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and U.S. Rep. Adam Smith. More than 600 people signed a petition and the Postal Service met with several dozen residents at a community meeting.
Several sites were considered, including a location at 34th Avenue and East Union Street, near Madrona Elementary School.
The post office that opened Monday has no parking lot, said Leila Laygo, a Postal Service customer service representative who worked on the project. But the site is located in the heart of the Central District, with robust bus service and dense housing nearby.
“We couldn’t find a building in the Central District with a lot of parking,” Laygo said. “But the community was really clamoring for us to open another retail station.”
It took about eight months for the Postal Service to convert the new space into a post office, Laygo said. “We’re really excited” for customers to arrive, she said.
In a statement, Sawant described Monday’s opening as “a welcome development, especially given the current attacks (on the Postal Service) by the Trump administration.”