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City Councilwoman Clarke leads protest against plan to close 8 Baltimore post offices

This week, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke led a protest to try and halt a plan to close eight Baltimore post offices, now under review by the U.S. Postal Service.

The feds say there is a pressing need to stop red ink in the postal system by closing up to 3,200 post offices nationwide — 41 in Maryland.

Clarke held the protest to try to halt closing the Waverly post office, at 3000 Homewood Ave., in her 14th District. There, more than 52,000 locals are served, Clarke said. She wants to send the review process back to sender to identify other post offices that could be closed, sparing Baltimore’s locations that, besides Waverly, are:

•    Carroll — 340 South Loudon Ave., zip code: 21229
•    Clifton East End — 4200 Shannon Dr., zip code: 21213
•    Druid — 1826 Pennsylvania Ave., zip code: 21217
•    Franklin — 2401 Ashton St., zip code: 21223
•    Hamilton — 4901Harford Rd., zip code: 21214
•    Market Center — 130 North Greene St., zip code: 21201
•    Walbrook — 1908 North Ellamont St., zip code: 21216

In all, Clarke said the total residents served by all post offices threatened with closing is about 275,000, “substantially more people than the entire population of Harford County,” the councilwoman said.

In another jab at suburban life, Clarke issued a press release that said:

“On the “urban discrimination” front, the USPS is considering the closure of 11 percent of its post offices nationwide but 36 percent of Baltimore City’s. In a City where only 36 percent of Baltimore households own cars, all 8 post offices on the chopping block have between 11,224 and 24,975 potential clients within a one-quarter mile walking distance.

“More than half the post offices at risk are in communities where between one-fifth and two-thirds of the residents live below the poverty line. Seven locations serve African-American populations of 61 to 88%.”

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General Growth Properties’ 1.5 million square feet of office space in Maryland — that includes Columbia Corporate Center, Harborplace Tower and Owings Mills Corporate Center — will be leased and managed by Cushman & Wakefield, officials said Thursday.

Cushman & Wakefield’s team will be led by Vice Chairman Jonathan Serko and Executive Vice President Barry Zeller in New York.

In Columbia, the office complex spans seven buildings and totals 876,475 square feet. Downtown’s Harborplace Tower is 261,780 square feet of Class A office space, located next to Harborplace and the Gallery. In Owings Mills, the corporate center holds 330,736 square feet in two buildings.

GGP emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November. The Chicago-based giant is among the largest shopping center owners in the U.S. with a portfolio of 160 million square feet of space in 166 malls in 43 states.

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Local heroes need apply.

Lennar Homes has started a Hometown Heroes program in Maryland and Delaware that offers a credit up to $1,500 toward the purchase price of a home to educators, firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement agents, active military and healthcare professionals.

The company has built homes in several communities in the state, including near Fort George M. Meade and Andrews Air Force Base.

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TIDBITS: Colliers International in Baltimore this week named commercial real estate brokers Matthew J. Haas and Kevin J. Haus as managing directors and principals. Haas and Haus, formerly of Manekin LLC, specialize in leasing and selling office and flex real estate throughout the Baltimore region. … Interested in viewing an updated version of a new master plan for the East Baltimore Development Inc. redevelopment of 88 acres in Middle East? It’s hot off the press: click here.  The plan will be discussed Aug. 11 in a public meeting at EBDI’s office, in the 1700 block of E. Chase St. beginning at 5:30 p.m. An earlier meeting on the plan held July 28 was shut down by residents who protested they had not had an opportunity to review the document. In the latest version, the proposed new name of the new community, Beacon Park, was downplayed because it had become a flash point in the ongoing process. The EBDI redevelopment is a $1.8 billion project started in 2001. Today, the development has entered into a partnership with Johns Hopkins University, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership.