SAFETY HARBOR — It opened when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and Elvis Presley was at the top of charts. Since 1956, the post office at 303 Main St. has not only been a reliable spot to mail and receive letters and packages, but friends, like Jerry Smith and Tina MacIntyre often use it as a meeting spot, huddling on the outside bench before taking walks to the waterfront or grabbing a coffee at the nearby Starbucks.
"It feels like the center of everything,'' Smith said.
Despite its rich history, the U.S. Postal Service recently announced it is closing the location for a new site. The date of the closure and the new location have not been announced, and the Postal Service said mail delivery will not be affected. The reason for the departure from its longtime spot on Main Street is "due to the landlord being unwilling to provide the postal service with a long-term lease,'' according to a news release.
Representatives of Roundlake Commercial LLC, listed as the property owner in public records, could not be reached for comment.
In the last several months, there has been much back-and-forth between the community, city officials and the post office over the situation. In March, the Postal Service held a public meeting with the community to gather input. That was followed by a 30-day period in which residents were invited to send feedback. As soon as the allotted time passed, the Postal Service announced its intentions.
"The postal service is running a business,'' City Manager Matt Spoor said. "Our goal and the commission's goal was to have the post office remain where they are but the postal service made this decision. I have spoken with representatives for the landlord who attempted to work out a renewed lease, but they have been unsuccessful.''
Jane Anderson, a post office customer, said this isn't the first time word went around that the post office was leaving.
"You know, it's hard for post offices these days. My grandchildren didn't even learn how to address envelopes in school,'' she said. "So, it is what it is.''
Contact Piper Castillo at email@example.com. Follow @Florida_PBJC.