Residents frustrated after East End Post Office closes abruptly

Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 10, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- A U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman said there is no timetable for a return to the East End Post Office location in Church Hill after it abruptly closed Monday.

As people got off work Monday evening, CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit and photojournalist Eli Gardiner watched as people in Church Hill rushed toward the East End Post Office to make sure they got in before it closed.

"I catch the bus, and I broke my neck to get over here today," one woman said.

But, once they tried the door, the found out they couldn't get in.

"This is ridiculous," one man said.

"Some of the poorest people in the city live here. This is not right, and we're going to make a complaint about it and see what can be done," Phi Wilayto said after pointing out that residents got no notice about the closure.

A sign on the door stated the East End Post Office suspended service there Monday due to several safety issues that must be addressed.

The sign, which was written by a postal services manager at another post office, said no final decision to permanently discontinue service there has been made.

Hipolit took the resident's concerns to the building's owner, Joshua Bilder, who also owns the old East End Theater next door that he revitalized into apartments and a restaurant space.

He's also building Patrick Henry Square nearby.

"Will you be working with the Post Office going forward to remedy any issues they have found?" Hipolit asked Bilder?

"That's why I took this interview because I'm not going to just let this just go, and this is something I am going to take a priority on," Bilder, who is the President of Sterling Bilder, said.

Post office and East End Theater

Bilder said the closure came as a shock to him, and while he knows the building needs work, he didn't think it would need to be closed.

"This is something that is embarrassing for me, and embarrassing for Richmond. There's no one to blame, and you can spread the blame around, but I would just say it falls on me, and I am the one that is going to correct the situation," Bilder said.

Here is the full statement from the U.S. Post Office. It explains what to do going forward if you have a PO Box at that location:

"The Postal Service would like to apologize to our customers for any inconvenience they experienced as we began the transfer of mail required for our temporary retail operations from East End Post Office.  Please assure your viewers that all mail remained secure with the Postal Service and is now available for our impacted customers.  Again, we apologize.

For now, customers with PO Boxes at the East End Post Office can pick up their mail at Montrose Heights Post Office located at 5300 Klockneer Road. Those hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Customers are required to show a photo ID to receive their mail.  There is a 24-hour lobby access for customer convenience.

While we do not have a timetable for a return to the East End location, the Postal Service is placing a Retail Mobile Unit on site for our customers on Tuesday, April 11. The Retail Mobile Unit will provide our customers with retail service such purchasing stamps and products.

This temporary closing or the placement of a mobile unit does not impact delivery of mail to street addresses in the community."



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