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Letter to the Editor: 'Our Neighborhood Post Office is Closing!'

The Belmont contract station of the U.S. Post Office located in the Carlmont Shopping Center is slated for closure Aug. 31. The author hopes to raise awareness and gather the community's support in keeping the station open.

Dear Editor;

I had a thought..perhaps you can help. 

I recently found out that our "neighborhood post office" will be closing and moving to Crystal Springs Shopping Center.  When I was there yesterday there were two elderly woman with me in line. We were expressing sadness and disappointing that the post office would be leaving and that we are upset that the owner of the shopping center is not fighting to keep them. 

According to the employee it sounded like the owner of the shopping center were butting heads over rent and some other issue. I have been a resident since 1989 and am tired of seeing our valued places at Carlmont Shopping Center are leaving...we don't need more vacancies in our city. It already looks like a ghost town with Blockbuster and the buffet restaurant empty. 

I spoke with the owner of the shopping center when he let Jamba Juice go because kids and locals were disappointed and upset. My feeling was it was all about money, not the people.

I think we need to let people know that the Post Office is in jeopardy!  Can you write an article about it and encourage people to voice out and contact the owner of shopping center in support of saving our Post Office? I understand they will move the end of August if nothing gets agreed upon.  We have time to speak out and he should know how we feel. 

This Post Office is ideal for the Belmont Community.  He can't seem to fill the empty spaces that already exist.  He needs to listen to the community! 

I don't think many people know about this issue.  Can you help?  The one lady yesterday in the post office is involved with the Central Neighborhood Association and was going to bring it to their attention right away. 

The employee at the Post Office yesterday was very grateful to hear we were supportive in keeping the Post Office right where it is.  

Cathy (Belmont resident)

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Bill Bohlen August 08, 2012 at 10:25 PM
You should start a fundraising effort to get people to donate to cover the lost revenue for the shopping center owner.
Varti Patton August 09, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I am very sorry to hear that the Carlmont Post office will be closing. It is a very convenient location and even though it is so small it is always very busy, every time I go people are waiting. I hope that some agreement will be reached. It is not that cost effective to let present tenants leave because of rent issue, since after a tenant leaves it takes years to fill that shop, like in the case of the Armanie jewelry store it was empty for 3 years. Varti
Phillip Bailey August 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Wow Bill Bohlen just PLEASE come out and share with us your personal interest in having SO MUCH personal vitriol in your responses. San Mateo was going to LOSE their 25th aveune post office but several city council people (Robert Ross) were very instrumental in getting the USPostal Service's higher ups to keep it from closing. This contract station is vital. Maybe good City staffers and great people like Cora and our own new Police Chief Dan can help us save the day. Keep it open. Currently the Shopping Center owner is being disengenious. The traffic flow and parking stall striping is a Cluster. Dangerous Shopping Center Parking Lot for pedestrians who exit their cars to negotiate the rest of their trip on foot. No rhyme or reason for some of the traffic flow patterns. Lets her it Mr. Bohlen ... are you just going to respond and YELL back again and again about "helping out the poor owner". Try parking near the Mortuary Side of CSCenter. Half of Carlmont HS is smoking something other than cigarettes there during certain times of the day, evening, summer etc. I don't see the OWNER caring about all the deals that are consumated in his/her lot. Something tells me Gin Mon won't be closing down ;>) Save the Belmont, Carlmont Shopping Center Post Office Contract Station.
George Kranen August 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I, too, am disheartened by the news that the Carlmont Contract Station is closing. For me it’s much more convenient that the Masonic Way PO. I’m not privy to the disagreement between the shopping center owner and the tenant, and so cannot offer an opinion about who, if anyone, is greedy. What I do know is that the market value of commercial property is determined mostly by how much income it generates. The owner will raise rents if (and I emphasize IF) the owner is contemplating selling Carlmont. Cautionary tale: in the late ‘70s the owner of the Valmonte Shopping Center in Palos Verdes Estates (LA County) wanted to sell. Valmonte was similar-in-concept to Carlmont: a two-story neighborhood shopping center, home to several locally-owned shops, a bank, a grocery store serving the surrounding residential neighborhoods, with professional offices above. It got lots of local traffic and generated a tidy sum in sales taxes for the city. Wanting to sell, and wanting a good price, the owner started raising rents. After the sale the new owners, saddled with a high-interest-rate mortgage, raised rents even higher. The tenants couldn’t remain competitive paying the higher rents, and moved out or closed. Only banks, savings and loans (remember them?), and real estate offices could afford the rents. So, by 1982, that’s all there were. Local traffic dried-up. Sales taxes dried-up. A vibrant community and commercial nexus dried-up. Could happen here.
icl August 11, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I'm upset to hear that we may lose the Carlmont post office. One of the huge pros of living in our neighborhood is the ability to walk to Carlmont Shopping Center. However, the shopping center is going downhill fast. Losing Jamba Juice was a bit hit and the addition of Verizon was pathetic.

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