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State purchases historic Annapolis post office building

ANNAPOLIS — The Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved the state’s purchase of the 111-year-old Annapolis post office, which had been shopped by the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service.

Annapolis post office

The Annapolis post office off Church Circle. (Alexander Pyles/The Daily Record)

The $3.2 million purchase of the historic building on Church Circle — adjacent to the James Senate Office Building and across the street from the governor’s mansion — will allow some state offices to move out of leased space.

The board — composed of Gov. Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — unanimously OK’d the purchase.

Closing is expected to take place within the next six months, said Michael A. Gaines Sr., the Department of General Services’ assistant director for real estate.

An extensive renovation is expected over the next two years, during which the building will be expanded to 30,000 square feet, more than doubling its current size. That renovation is expected to cost the state another $9.7 million, according to a DGS memo sent to the General Assembly’s budget committees in December, bringing the total cost of acquisition, design and renovation to $12.85 million.

A post office branch will continue to operate out of a 4,200-square-foot area in the building for the next eight to 20 months, Gaines said, but then will move.

“We’re not sure where the new post office will land,” he said.

The U.S. Postal Service has said it might sell as many as 200 post offices across the country to help fight its financial problems. The service reported a loss of $15.9 billion last year, according to its annual report to Congress.