Morristown hopes to put its stamp on the Post Office.
The town has submitted a bid to buy the century-old, 17,000-square-foot facility on Morris Street.
“The town has consistently expressed the desire to preserve both the historic post office and the postal services in this location,” town Administrator Jillian Barrick said on Thursday.
“To that end, a proposal to purchase the building has been submitted on the town’s behalf, which is the first step in the negotiation process. We are eager to initiate a dialogue with the postal service that will save this historic building,” said Barrick, who toured the building with town officials earlier this month.
At public hearings residents have inquired whether the town would convert the Post Office–mostly vacant, and in need of major renovations–into a new town hall.
So far, Mayor Tim Dougherty has said only that he wants to preserve the building across from the historic Morristown Green as a “centerpiece” of the downtown.
He also would like to continue a postal presence there, as a convenience to residents, and has expressed openness to leasing back a portion of the facility to the Postal Service for a mail window and postal boxes.
The Postal Service has indicated it’s seeking to rent about 1,600 square feet of space within a few blocks of the Green.
A realty broker said about a dozen potential buyers had shown interest as of mid-May. Postal Service spokesman George Flood said on Thursday he could not disclose how many bids were submitted.
“It would be inappropriate to discuss specific bids,” Flood said via email. “By definition, real estate transactions are very complex. Each one is unique, so no timetable has been set for additional announcements.
“The Postal Service will carefully consider all proposals in order to make an informed decision consistent with our organizational objectives,” Flood said.
Likewise, Barrick declined to disclose the amount of Morristown’s bid, citing the “confidential nature of the negotiations.”