Redevelopment Authority rejects postal service request to extend lease

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A City of Eau Claire board has rejected the U.S. Postal Service's request to stay at its location on N. Barstow Street after its lease ends.

On Wednesday morning, the Redevelopment Authority unanimously rejected the request. The lease ends on September 30. Economic Development Administrator Mike Schatz said the postal service had asked to stay through the end of March. In November 2013, the Redevelopment Authority bought the building that the postal service leases at 126 N. Barstow Street in Eau Claire from the Gateway Industrial Park Corporation for nearly $350,000.

"The board felt that they owed it to the businesses and people living in the North Barstow neighborhood to solve the parking crunch as soon as possible by getting started on a ramp, and delaying it for six months would have...just, not helped the situation." Schatz said.

Schatz said he notified a contact at the postal service of the decision after the meeting. He says the postal service is expected to be out of the N. Barstow Street facility by the end of September. In April, the postal service announced that it planned to move to a property on the 200 block of E. Madison Street, but did not say when. The facility once housed Charly's Market, a 4,200-square-foot grocery store. The store opened in May 2012, and closed in 2013. A message left with a postal service spokesman seeking comment on the decision and the reason for the request was not immediately returned.

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