The post office in Palmer Square is moving to the former West Coast Video property at 259 Nassau St.
There is no set timeline for when the move will take place, Ray Daiutolo Sr., a U.S. Postal Service spokesman, said, adding that the organization is waiting for the new location to be prepared and for the old building's sale to be finalized.
West Coast Video used the property from 1997 to around 2006 until the company went out of business because of the growing popularity of online streaming videos, said Robert Bratman, whose family has owned the property since the 1960s.
“Now there’s nothing there,” Bratman said. “We've been trying to get a tenant.”
While his family was originally in negotiations with TD Bank, the neighbors strongly opposed the idea of a bank at that location, he said.
The bank would have closed at 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m., and because it would have occupied the whole building, it would have created a large parking lot for all the restaurants in town, Bratman said. However, because of the tension between the neighbors and the bank, the bank decided not to relocate, he explained, adding that he was surprised at the resistance from some residents.
Despite an ordinance prohibiting businesses bordering residential areas from operating 24-7, a 7-Eleven will also likely still come to the location, Bratman said.
“I think the property has been vacant for too long, and it's going to be nice that it’s there,” Bratman said. “Though many neighbors came out and opposed the 7-Eleven, it seems like it fulfills the need that they wanted.”
Bratman said that representatives from thepost office approached his family and said they were leaving their Palmer Square location.
Daiutolo declined to disclose why the post office was relocating.
“I thought they were going to be a really nice fit, because they’re going to be on the side of the building with plenty of parking, which I know was a real concern with the location in Palmer Square,” Bratman said.
Palmer Square Management did not respond to a request for comment.
The post office can also forgo plan approval because it is a federal building, which makes the process of relocating much simpler, he said.
The 259 Nassau St. property has a long history, Bratman said. The building was constructed in the early 1920s and originally housed multiple car dealerships.
In 1966, Bratman’s parents bought the car dealership and service station and converted it into a furniture store.
Twenty years later, Bratman said he declined to take over the family business, and his father leased the property to the Wawa, the building’s first renter. The Wawa’s lease ended around 1995-1996 and the company decided not to renew the lease due to the existence of another Wawa in town.
Eckerd, a drugstore, became the next tenant of the property. Two years after opening, however, Rite Aid Corporation bought Eckerd, and decided there was no need to have two Rite Aid locations operating in Princeton. As a result, Rite Aid closed the 259 Nassau St. location and sublet it to West Coast Video with the permission of the Bratman family.