City, Neighborhood Council Apparently Give Up On Saving Postal Annex

“We give up” is something rarely heard around Venice, but it seems to be what has happened to the “fight” to save the publicly-owned postal annex at 313 Grand Blvd., also known as the old Safeway store.

As reported in last month’s Beachhead, the Postal Department is moving ahead with plans to sell the 1.78 acre site to a private developer. Do we need more condos?

Apparently the neighborhood council, our councilmember and our congressional representative don’t care.

People in the neighborhood have suggested multiple uses for the property if it remains public, including parking, social services, affordable housing, and a park. But lack of action by public officials, and wannabee public officials may eliminate such sensible ideas from becoming reality.

Here’s what’s been done so far. After the Beachhead broke the story that the post office was going to move mail processing out of Venice, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl wrote a letter to Congressmember Jane Harman asking her help in keeping the property in the public domain.

There is no record of Harman ever having responded to the letter, or of her doing anything to save the property.

The Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee (LUPC) got into the act last month by putting the item on its agenda. When no one showed up at the meeting, the LUPC and the VNC ran up a white flag of surrender. “There’s nothing we can do to stop a sale to a developer,” one Board member told the Beachhead. So much for the public option.

Venetians’ best hope may be that the economy has sunk to a level low enough to prevent bids on this prime property. But if someone does come up with the $20 million the USPS is asking for the property, get ready for something very big and very expensive in the middle of our town.

–Jim Smith

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