North City Post Office will close in December - looking for an 18,228 sq ft building

Friday, September 29, 2017

North City Post Office will close in mid-December
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

By Diane Hettrick

The North City Post Office has been located at NE 175th and 15th NE for decades. However, it didn't own the land it sat on, but held a long-term lease, periodically renewed without issue.

All that changed with the 185th Station Area Rezone. The landowner's representatives started shopping the property in March 2015. (See previous article)

USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson, when asked if the post office was looking for a new site, responded that the current lease was good until June 2016 and they were in negotiation for a lease extension.

The extension was successful. They first negotiated a one year extension to July 2017 and then a five year extension was announced in November of 2016. (See previous article)

But they didn't read the fine print.

Last week the City of Shoreline received a development application for the site of the existing North City post office and was informed by the applicant that the post office would be closing down in mid-December.

This was the first time that USPS was aware of a clause in the lease that allowed a purchaser to terminate the existing lease.

The developer is the The Wolff Company. The General Contractor is Katerra.

The post office will have to vacate between December 15 - 31, 2017 and the building will be demolished. Construction will begin after the first of the year on two five-story buildings with 243 units and two floors of underground parking.

Construction is expected to take one and a half years.

USPS is searching for a new location for the North City post office, as close as reasonably possible to the existing location. Retail Services will continue at the current site until the last moment.

They have announced a public meeting in Shoreline for October 24, 2017.



Anonymous,  September 30, 2017 at 7:54 AM  

And yet the City staff claim that public services are adequate and will be preserved in spite of the huge development going on as result of the light rail station rezones. People should take a look at the map and see for themselves how far this site is from the proposed light rail station - it isn't walkable.

Most of the City staff don't live in Shoreline and could care less how the consequences of their recommendations impact the community. And our worthless City Council rubber stamp anything the staff recommends.

This post office serves Lake Forest Park as well as Shoreline, I am positive the developer will get a property tax exemption from the City. And the ridiculous thing is that the City staff repeatedly state to the Council there is no financial impact to this property tax exemption.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM  

So, for all the people who rely on that location for postal services, for whom traveling to another post office is difficult if not next to impossible- what happens to them? Furthermore, a 243 unit building means 243 more cars at that intersection, an intersection that already can't handle the current density. Way to go, City of Shoreline, for permitting such a use without considering (or caring) about the impact.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2017 at 5:21 PM  

So sick of the total incompetence, ineptitude, and lies from the people running this city and their "Developers First" agenda. Two or three years ago, I was open to the idea of some density in the light rail stations and density on Aurora, but now I'm completely against it. Go sell your concrete covered, urban blight snakeoil to some other community.

Anonymous,  October 1, 2017 at 1:15 PM  

While the city would need to approve the permits for any planned construction, the city government has no control over a private landowner's decision to sell his/her land. And if the land is located in an area zoned for multi-unit dwellings, the only way to prevent this would be to change the zoning. As for "being positive the developer will get a property tax exemption from the City," it might be useful if you provided evidence for that supposition that goes beyond your personal opinion. Has that happened in the past? How many times? When? Where?

With regard to losing the post office, that is not a "public service" that the city government controls. The USPS is a federal entity, and the federal government is responsible for providing that service--and for determining the location of any post office. The federal agency in charge of this is responsible for the loss of service, if in fact they didn't read the fine print, not the city government.

How many of the people opposed to this have attended the open city council meetings to provide input on how this should have been handled? What is your evidence that the city council didn't consider, or doesn't care, about the impact of the change in the use of this land? For those of you who think we have a rubber-stamp city council, I assume we will see your name on the ballot for the next election. Complaining is easy. Governing is not.

Anonymous,  October 1, 2017 at 2:23 PM  

@ Anon 1.15.... almost every behemoth, high-density project built in Shoreline during the last several years has taken advantage of the 12 year property tax exemption. In fact, some building owners were able to opt in retroactively once they realized what they were missing out on. The likelihood that this new project will not opt into this program is ZERO.

After this total sh!tsh*w with the rezones, the city has made perfectly clear that they have no interest in listening to what the majority of the public wants. 100+ people showed up to tell them NO, in comparison to a handful Shoreliners, shills, or both. So, constant, long-term complaining, with no fatigue in sight, on every social media outlet is the outcome of bad decisions and public officials/staff/consultants lying to and about their constituents. This "complain campaign" is turning out to be much more effective than showing up to a public meeting, only to be ignored, lectured to, or spoken down to by outside "stakeholders". It's much more effective at garnering interest from constituents who are busy working and living their lives.

Governing really isn't that difficult, when your actions show that you have your constituents' best interests as a priority, not the real estate development machine and an economic model that is unsustainable as Shoreline is only so big.

Anonymous,  October 1, 2017 at 7:06 PM  

Yes, it's such a shame that people actually want to live in our awesome city and that developers want to build residences for them. Sickening and horrifying. I am clutching my pearls right now.

As for the post office: ummmm... who does not read the fine print when signing a lease????

Anonymous,  October 1, 2017 at 10:12 PM  

@ Anon 7:06... way to victim blame, and frankly, thank you for outing yourself as a true pearl clutcher.

As we all know, "pearl clutchers" possess the inability to grasp such concepts as maths, policy, law, etc. It's mathematically impossible to accommodate every single person on the globe who may want to live in Shoreline, a tiny suburban city, compared to every other suburban cities in King County. Take your delusions of grandeur and emotions out of it, we're not going to be the next Dubai, Singapore, or NYC. Get a grip and dream within the means of the city. Enough with these fanatical urbanist lies.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2017 at 6:53 PM  

Evidence that the post office site developer will get a property tax exemption: 1) Arabella I, 2) Arabella II, 3) Polaris - is that enough evidence for you? I leave it to you to go and find the council meetings where these were approved.

The post office site is also eligible for a property tax exemption, but hey, the city staff continually tell the council there is no financial impact to the liberal PTE program.

Anonymous,  October 5, 2017 at 10:28 AM  

I have only one thing to mention, as a 43 year resident of unincorporated King County and then the much maligned incorporation of the city of Shoreline, wondering where the contractual mind of the city attorney was when the lease was originated and then extended. Rhetorical - obviously no one actually read the contract - purchasing / leasing / renting 101.
I believe that this is an opinion that does not violate any of the Terms of Service for this Comment listing. I still acknowledge 'your' right to delete.

Hollis Huston October 8, 2017 at 10:12 PM  

Is this really happening? Seattle is beyond overbuilding at this point. I live on 150th and 15th in Shoreline. I commute to work in South Lake Union by bicycle most days or bus. Its a real shame how Amazon has ruined Seattle, driving up rent prices and bringing people to the city that think sitting behind a computer all day is a real job. I work in construction and i have never seen so many
tax breaks being handed out to Amazon and mass Developers. City council is a joke across the board. In Seattle and now it looks like Shoreline. I cant believe people voted for a light rail that is going to take 35 years to build, wont solve any traffic problems, and costs people with newer cars a fortune in car tabs. i drive a 94 so my tabs only went up 20. But still, you still have to drive to the light rail. What a disaster, look at all of the properties and jobs lost along this construction path. Lynnwood is already 500 million over budget and it hasnt even started yet. Look at Northgate and now Shoreline. In the worst of traffic i would take bus 194 and get to the airport in under an hour. Now the LightRail that makes 17 stops, and drops you off 1/2 mile from the gates and with a top speed of 32mph. Ha what a joke its a Mister Rodgers trolly, and his trolly only made one stop and it was faster. Our city is turning into an economic joke, this is middle school economics. When all of these 15,000 to 20,000 new apartments hit the market this year. . . and we continue to overbuild. . building more tiny houses, and '"affordable Housing" AkA Section 8 for the people who refuse to work and shoot heroine all day. And we call them homeless. Just wait until the next collapse, I cant wait, all my money is out of the market. When all the real workers retire in the next few years, post office, construction, retail, malls, grocery store that arent computers yet. And to make way for a light rail disaster and a generation that refuses to work and a World and Economy that is set for a huge Tech Crash and housing market crash.. . I will be quietly missing our Shoreline and Seattle the way it used to be. . . .

DKH October 19, 2017 at 11:45 PM  

To the 43 year resident: the lease was between the Federal Government and the property owner. The City of Shoreline had nothing to do with it, or any say in the matter.

Anonymous,  December 19, 2017 at 10:45 PM  

As a 30yr resident of Shoreline, I've watched, tried to intervene, been subject to the abuse this city can put on homeowners, while large businesses and developers get the green light and royal treatment. I've seen my taxes go from stupid to now insane valuations, while the schools deteriorate. It is obvious the out of town council cares only on how it looks on paper and for their CV. Look how well they have managed things, look at the wonderful circles they placed where stop signs were fine (on no, no construction change to utilize the circle, just a cement barrier with some plants to maintain. Look at the wonderful new Council Building, with no room for Police, they get their own new property and buildings. Just takeover some more land and develop it for City uses. Oh and given their new 100's of circles, they must employ more Parks people, which means they need a new bit of land and some new buildings, so say good bye to several acres of Hamlin Park. Oh and don't get me started on the LRS with the Shoreline terminal that 90% of shoreline will have to drive to to use (might as well name the terminal Quagmire), and I am being very liberal when I say "use". This only touches on part of the destruction of our once lovely suburb with the once upon a time excellent schools (that you could walk to, but now MUST ride buses). I was expecting my children to carry on here in Shoreline, but that's now a no go, a city ?has? to grow to make councils feel good. Well shrink it's population by 5. Me and mine are out of here. Building a 250 person complex on the corner of 175th and 15th, last straw. Good bye and good luck.

ChrisGuerra June 19, 2018 at 9:20 AM  

USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson, when asked if the post office was looking for a new site, responded that the current lease was good until June 2016

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