The US Postal Service is selling its former mail shop along the MBT and it looks like it will be a missed opportunity for trail adjacent and oriented development.
Last week, the Postal Service sold the 79,380-square-foot historic building, located on a 2.5-acre lot, for $12.25 million. The buyer is a subsidiary of Reno, Nevada-based Amerco (NASDAQ: UHAL), the parent company of U-Haul.
The block long building on the south side of W was built adjacent to the tracks to access the railroad via a small spur. (in fact, you can still see the track poking up through the pavement on W)
On the south side is a sprawling and almost always empty parking lot. It would seem that, being so close to Metro, downtown and a major bike trail it would be an ideal place for urban infill - even if the historic building has to be preserved.
This would be an opportunity to create a more welcoming trailhead/gateway at W, if they needed any sort of PUD, but it doesn't appear they will.
Amerco representatives did not return requests for comment, but we are told by officials familiar with the deal that the likely use of 2135 Fifth is self-storage, with U-Haul truck parking on the surrounding lot. At the very least, Amerco is expected to pursue a by-right use. The site is zoned for medium-density commercial and production, distribution and repair uses.
My prediction: no change.