In an apparent change of plans, the U.S. Postal Service says it has no intentions of selling its downtown Provo Post Office to the LDS Church - even as a rising temple occupies the space around it.
Ongoing construction of the Provo City Center Temple is taking place at what were the burnt-out remains of the city’s Tabernacle. Road blocks are affecting street access to the nearby downtown post office, and Provo has also sold most of the roadway adjacent to the post office directly south of the new temple to the church.
Earlier this month, a spokesman for the Postal Service said the agency was in talks with the church on a possible sale of the land and building. But on Tuesday, the agency said there are no such talks on the table.
USPS spokesman Brian Sperry declined to comment for an on-air story, offering only an email statement. He writes: “No office is for sale at this time. There are no negotiations occurring with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Corey Norman is Deputy Mayor for Provo. He says some residents want to see the downtown office go elsewhere, saying the structure looks old and doesn't fit in.
“The feedback that I have received is, how can we help the post office relocate or co-exist with another business, and sell that piece of property?” he said. “The post office’s property is right in the middle of construction.”
Norman says the city doesn’t take a position on the matter and says Provo will support both organizations.
“We want the right things to happen in downtown,” he added. “If the right thing is for the LDS Church to purchase that property, we’re going to be supportive of that. If the right thing is for the Post Office to maintain its presence down there, then we’re going to be supportive of that also.”
Norman said the city has sold roughly three-fourths of 100 South between University Avenue and 100 West to the LDS Church. Construction crews have removed a former motel on the site and Norman says the roadway will be permanently closed.
The Postal Service announced in 2011 that its infrastructure was too large and that it was looking at consolidations at sites around the country including possible consolidations at Provo’s three post offices. For UPR News, I’m Matt Jensen.