Richland's new post office at 639 Cullum Ave. is scheduled to open Monday.
The post office is asking customers with P.O boxes in the existing post office in the Federal Building on Jadwin Avenue to empty them this weekend, Richland Postmaster Barbara Puckett said in a notice.
Customers will have to exchange their mailbox keys for new keys when they come to the Cullum Avenue post office. Customers are asked to check their old box before exchanging keys as their old keys will be placed in a container for recycling once they are received.
"Postal employees will not be negotiating back and forth from location to location in an attempt to retrieve mail for customers who failed to clear their P.O. box at the old location prior to exchanging keys," Puckett said. "This is the customers' responsibility."
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The Postal Service announced in early 2013 that it wanted to move to a location near the Federal Building since the facility had become too large for its use after mail carriers were moved from Richland to the West Richland Post Office. It also sought a new location because of sharply declining revenue.
The post office announced a five-year lease on the 4,150-square-foot space on Cullum Avenue site in January. It will have the option to renew with building owner Houston Carroll LLC of Kennewick.
The Cullum Avenue building opened as a Safeway store in 1954, according to Herald archives. It was vacant for a dozen years before reopening in the early 1990s as the 17,500 square-foot Atrium Building. It served as an office for Hanford contractor MACTEC.
Ernie Swanson, a Postal Service spokesman, said he didn't know how much it cost to renovate the Cullum building.
"We don't usually give out that kind of information," he said.
The Postal Service did not file a building permit with Richland, said Rick Simon, the city's permit and development services manager.
"Because they are a federal agency, they can claim to be exempt, and in this case they did," he said.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom