Defunct Church Hill post office still closed after 9 months

Defunct Church Hill post office still closed after 9 months

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's been nine months, and the Church Hill post office that closed for renovation is still not open.

People in the area complain they have been inconvenienced with undependable mail delivery. They are often forced to go to other post offices further away from the North 25th Street building.

NBC12 spoke to the owner of the property, Josh Bilder, who took us inside to see the renovations. Bilder says he spent $200,000 on upgrades to the building, including asbestos removal, new floors and lighting, and drainage repairs.

Bilder said the 61-year-old building's previous owners were out-of-state and didn't maintain the property for decades.

The post office branch abruptly closed last April because of safety concerns. Bilder says he has done everything the post office has asked of him.

"As far as I'm concerned, the repairs have been finished," said Bilder. "All the reports I have, the building is structurally sound. I had people go through it, and the post office had people go through it."

Bilder said the plan was for the post office to be operating again by this past Christmas. However, he says post office representatives asked for a couple more repairs to be completed after a walkthrough last month. Bilder says those repairs were completed before the new year.

In a statement to NBC12, a post office representative said the matter is "still under review."

News of a functioning post office couldn't come soon enough for neighbors. A USPS mobile truck is parked in front of the building for post office boxes and to accept pre-paid packages.

"It's been a disaster," said neighbor Leroy Wilkins Jr., who has used the 25th Street post office for more than 30 years. "There's always a problem. Anybody who has been in this neighborhood knows that it's been a problem for quite a while."

Bilder said he is intent on the post office reopening.

"I'm fully committed to it. I've spent a lot of money to rebuild that building," said Bilder.

Bilder said the post office has used the building, in part, during the renovations and he has not charged rent.

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