Condo Mania!: Post Office Plans Development On Top Of Historic Chelsea Outpost

January 9, 2015 | Rhett Jones

The seemingly never-ending development of condos in NYC rolls on, and now the United States Postal Service is getting into the game. A representative announced on Thursday that a plan to develop condos atop the historic Old Chelsea Station, located at 218 W 18th St, is underway. The post office was built in 1937 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. How do you know it’s a historic part of NYC’s history? It’s literally called the Old Chelsea Station! The name is right there on the front of the building.

According to DNAinfo, Gregory Lackey, a realty asset manager for the USPS, outlined plans for a doorman building on top of the postal hub that will feature an elevator and a gym:

The USPS owns not only the old building but the right to build up to 83 feet above it, and can sell those rights to someone to build there or, potentially, to increase the height restrictions on a building elsewhere in the neighborhood, according to Lackey.

Lackey said under local zoning the addition would be restricted to eight stories. He said the condo tower would be set back from the street to preserve the block’s character.

The post office would remain operational and all current services would be maintained, he said, though the plans do involve cutting into the current 41,600-square-foot space by “maybe five or six thousand feet” to make room for the new condo lobby and potentially a gym.

Why does the USPS need money so badly? The internet of course, it’s always the internet ruining everything. “First-class mail is declining as people use the Internet and net-based operations,” Lackey said at the community board meeting, “The post office is looking for alternate sources of revenue.” Maybe they could somehow get into this game, we hear it’s got a lot of potential.

Lackey went on to say that the community’s comments are welcome and that the USPS will extend the time for public comments. How much those comments will matter remains to be seen, however. The spokesman said the USPS will definitely be issuing the request for proposal from developers no matter what.

(Photo: Google Maps)