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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 02/17/2012

What’s going on with...the Silver Spring post office?

(Rendering courtesy of Insight Property Group)
The U.S. Postal Service is in rough shape financially, to say the least. From October through December of last year, for instance, it lost $3.3 billion. Things are so bad that the agency could begin defaulting on payments for retirees this year.

One of the ways the agency is looking to right its financial ship is to close some of its post offices and sell off some of its real estate. Which brings us to the one-story brick building at 8616 Second Avenue in Silver Spring, at the corner of Spring Street, where neighbors have long visited to pick up stamps or send care packages.

What’s going on with...the Silver Spring post office?

Short answer: Even though it’s still open, the post office has already been sold and is slated be torn down and replaced with an apartment building. Insight Property Group, a developer based in McLean that specializes in developing and rehabbing apartment buildings, bought it Feb. 13 for $7.1 million, according to property records.

Insight plans to replace the one-story, 1981-era building with a 310-unit, $75 million apartment building (see rendering). They aren’t the only ones snapping up defunct post offices, as the Postal Service has put locations in Georgetown and Bethesda up for sale as well.

This is all going to happen pretty quickly. The post office is slated to close in late spring or early summer. Provided Insight can land construction financing, it plans to begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Do not panic, however, Silver Spring lovers of snail mail. There is another post office at 8455 Colesville Road.

Is there a project, building or property in your neighborhood that you want to learn more about? We've previously written about the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center, the Shrimp Boat restaurant, the Arlington Funeral home site and others. You can send suggestions to oconnellj@washpost.com

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 02/17/2012

Tags:  What's gping on with?, Silver Spring, U.S. Postal Service

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