LYNN — Aleida Torres can’t wait for the new United States Postal Service retail office to open Monday on Market Basket’s Spencer Street side.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s more convenient with plenty of parking. I’ve already stopped by a few times,” the Walnut Street resident said.
Torres has had to satisfy her excitement to date by looking through the new postal office’s glass store at the counter with West Lynn’s zip code — 01905 — painted on the wall behind it in giant white letters on a red background.
Lynn Postmaster John Muise said greater customer convenience, including significantly more parking, prompted the Postal Service to open the new retail office and close the West Lynn branch post office at 776 Western Ave.
Muise hopes easy access to the new facility and parking convenience translates into more revenue for the Postal Service.
“People tell me they can’t wait to come here. We expect to receive more business,” he said.
The West Lynn branch post office closes for good on Saturday at noon. Owner WLPO Realty, LLC has retained Salem real estate agent David Hark to find a tenant for the building. LLC manager Arthur J. Pappathanasi said the LLC hopes to develop the property for retail use, perhaps a restaurant, or maybe a bank branch.
“Whatever fits the neighborhood right,” Pappathanasi said.
The new retail office opens at 8:30 a.m. on Monday with Monday through Friday business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday hours from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Customers entering Market Basket’s parking lot from Spencer Street will find several spaces reserved for post office customers in addition to parking available in Market Basket’s main parking lot.
Stamps will be sold in the retail office and customers can pick up and mail packages, including priority packages and buy postal package and mailing products in the new retail office.
“Customers can expect to get the exact service they got at 776 Western Avenue,” said Muise.
The retail office will also have 14 parcel lockers for use by postal box key holders who need packages held until they can stop by the office and retrieve them.
Muise said the 330 people who rent postal boxes in the West Lynn branch have been notified of the move and will be able to turn their keys in for new keys on Monday at the retail office.
With its fresh coat of blue and white paint and new sign next to Market Basket’s Spencer Street entrance, the new retail office draws a sharp contrast to the post office branch familiar to West Lynn residents since 1942.
The Western Avenue postal branch has a handful of off-street parking and a well-worn appearance. The building once housed a bowling alley in its basement and former City Councilor Rick Ford recalled frequently buying professional bowler Mike Morgan hot dogs, “because I could never beat him.”
The Postal Service reassigned letter carriers for 15 West Lynn routes to the main Lynn post office on Willow Street in 2017. Postal Service Sales and Service Associate Lisa Trudeau stayed behind in West Lynn, where she has worked 29½ of her 30-year postal career.
“Leaving is bittersweet. The building has been like my home,” Trudeau said.
Come Monday, she will be behind the new retail office counter with coworker Jackie Glennon.
The Postal Service will host a grand opening for the new retail office on Wednesday, June 27 at 11 a.m.