Local leaders vow to buy La Jolla post office if necessary

US Postal Service says they will sell building

LA JOLLA, Calif. - A post office in La Jolla is being sold to cut costs, but local leaders vow to save it from closing.

For as long as Heath Fox can remember, the La Jolla post office on Wall Street has a been a hub of activity.

"It's really a part of the culture of the village," said Fox, executive director of the La Jolla Historical Society.

He fears the landmark could soon be shipped out.

On Thursday, the signs outside the post office gave voice to the worries. One read, "Don't kill our post office."  
"We are talking about a landmark," said Rep. Susan Davis.

"This is bullheaded bureaucratic bungling," said San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.

Those sharp words came after confirmation from the U.S. Postal Service that is is moving ahead with the sale of the building.

Amid budget woes, postal officials are selling real estate. They would then rent another site and relocate the post office.

"It's ultimately the fear. It could be sold to a private buyer who will decide, 'I can figure a way around the historic designation and tear the building down,'" said Joe LaCava of the La Jolla Post Office Task Force.

The post office was built as part of the New Deal to build infrastructure and create jobs. A mural was commissioned at the time of the project and remains on the walls of the lobby.

A sense of history is now on the line, but so is the future of the postal service.

"Isn't it a better deal for postal customers to see this post office?" asked 10News reporter Michael Chen.

"No, it shouldn't be," responded Rep. Scott Peters.

Peters said he's introducing a federal bill that will give community groups the first option to buy a post office at fair market price.

10News learned that local group of buyers is being assembled, and they would then allow the postal service to rent the space for a modest price.

"The U.S. Postal Service will be no worse off because the community is willing to pay the exact same price that the developer bid for the property," said Peters.

Local leaders have until April 6 to file an appeal with the USPS.

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