Bliss shows interest in post office redevelopment

The post office in downtown Grand Rapids may be redeveloped in the future.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The future of the post office property along the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids is once again a topic amongst city leaders.

In a statement released Thursday, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss told 24 Hour News 8:

“The community expressed a different vision for the post office site during the GRForward planning process and the recent Destination Asset Study. I have had some very early exploratory discussions to better understand future plans for the post office site and to learn about the process involved in potential collaborative efforts for redevelopment. There are a lot of priorities on the riverfront right now, and our top priorities are the river restoration project and connecting trails. It is simply too early to know if there are opportunities at the post office site. Any effort to move forward will be complicated and take quite some time.”

City Manager Greg Sundstrom said interest in the riverfront property is nothing new.

“The city, the community has been looking at this site for two decades as a potential development site,” Sundstrom said. “There have been conversations on and off during those two decades about the potential of this but really the discussions went nowhere.”

Sundstrom explained because the land is owned by the federal government, any future deals will need their approval, but “they move considerably slower than we do here in the city of Grand Rapids. I think even if someone, anyone at the federal level would give us a thumbs up, it’s probably still years before a deal could be consummated… I find it interesting this became a story overnight there’s no new news to report, unfortunately.”

Requests for comment from the United States Postal Service on the preliminary talks Bliss mentioned were not returned.