Post Office Update: Standing up for Local Input, and Accountability

The United State Postal Service facility being built at the corners of College and Nicholson Avenues may now be twice as large as proposed earlier this year — and the agency still has not told the public anything about their plans.

That is unacceptable.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A U.S. Postal Service facility coming to Oak Creek now includes an addition that would apparently replace the downtown Milwaukee postal center — opening up that massive building for redevelopment. 

The revised plans for the agency’s Oak Creek project now call for a building, constructed in two phases, totaling 935,000 square feet.

The agency plans to develop the building on more than 60 acres it owns at 2201 E. College Ave., southeast of Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

The first phase, a mail processing annex totaling 423,900 square feet, would replace an outdated Oak Creek facility at 7620 S. 10th St. The second phase, a processing and distribution center, would encompass 511,100 square feet, according to newly revised plans filed with the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Postal Service has already started site preparation work for the first phase, Vickers said. That building is to be partly completed by November 2020, and fully finished by March 2021, according to city officials, who want more time to review those plans. The new documents filed with the DNR do not indicate a timetable for the second phase.

But they do show that the 935,000-square-foot building would be on one level. That would allow for the facility’s automated processing systems to operate more efficiently, the filing said.

The DNR filing is tied to the Postal Service seeking permission to fill some wetlands at the project site.

The Postal Service in 2008 received city permission for an 820,000-square-foot facility, which was to replace both the Oak Creek and downtown Milwaukee processing centers. But the agency didn’t proceed with those plans because of a lack of funding.

The agency believes the 2008 approvals are sufficient for the revised project. Oak Creek officials say those approvals have expired, and are demanding another public review.

The City of South Milwaukee is joining in those demands, and the common Council passed a resolution last month opposing the project.

We want to make sure your voices are heard on this project … and ours too. We as a city have plenty of questions — from concerns over traffic counts to landscaping — and we want answers. We demand them.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. The USPS should do the right thing. It’s unfortunate they need to be reminded of that.

I’ll keep you posted … and continue to work to make sure the U.S. Postal Service is held accountable.


Filed under South Milwaukee

16 responses to “Post Office Update: Standing up for Local Input, and Accountability

  1. Rick

    It looks like it will be a great looking facility. College avenue was reconstructed to handle the traffic. The traffic will be going west on College from the facility. Good opportunity to market the downtown cafes and restaurants to the workers and visitors coming to the facility.

    • I can’t say what the facility will look like, which is what the public process is supposed to be about. Agree on potential impact. But the process matters, especially on huge developments like this.

  2. Rick

    There are drawings and plans at the City of Oak Creek’s City Hall for the public to review by appointment.

  3. Cory

    Why should it matter to south Milwaukee? It’s in a neighboring city and the traffic it may generate will most likely not even cross the border into SM except for a job opportunity it may open up for residents. Was a big deal made for Drexel town square, IKEA, or the apartments that have traffic flowing directly onto nicholson? If they own the land and went through with the permit process I don’t know what it really matters or how public input would benefit us or them?

    • I think a nearly 1 million square foot development potentially coming feet from our city borders matters a lot. Oak Creek only got details begrudgingly from the developers and there are still unanswered questions. We would not stand for this with any private developer. We should not stand for it here.

  4. jeff scherzer

    Sounds like a great thing for our region. Eric, worry about what to do with the Caterpillar site. The OC will take care of itself. This was a great location, You weren’t going to see any housing development here. Too close to the airport.

  5. Rick

    I m sure when finished it will look great!! They have the potential to use the railroad for a siding and so close to the airport for mail being flown to other points in the country make it an ideal site. Haven’t heard anything from Gwenn Moore, so she most likely looks at it as a employment opportunity. As Jeff sid above it is a great employment opportunity for the area, and located in an industrial site. There will be no traffic impact to South Milwaukee.

  6. Frank Gratke

    Somehow, I ended up talking to an insider at the USPS. They have not finalised plans. The Mayor has it correct 430,000 Square feet of sort space looks for sure, another 440,000 sort space posible plus 150,000 of office space either now or latter. They expect to know in 60 days. With the office space, the new set of buildings would replace the Downtown post office.

    What was interesting he did not understand why South Milwaukee was involved . He said its a mile away. I explain it was across the street. What is the real jobs is all the feeder warehouse shipping operations that could follow. Yes, you might have traffic issues and water runoff issues.The traffic comes a lot of Racine will be serviced by Highway 32. Which should make the issue on Pennsylvania Avenue going South during evening rush hour just that much more congested.The alternative North Chicago Avenue in South MIlwaukee could join in the congestion.

    The runoff issue is effected from the phrase “fill some wetlands”, That is that much more water coming into Oak Creek. I suggest the Mayor goes by a big filling cabinet, very inexpensive at Habitat for Humanity restore, just to handle all the correspondence.on this issue.

    But, I have complete confidence in the Mayor and our City Attorney that USPS will be held accountable.

    • Rick

      Frank, South Milwaukee has NO JURISDICTION on this project. They currently are excavating a retention pond for the water runnoff at the southern most part of the parcel along the WE Energy right-of-way. There are plans for the initial phase at the Oak Creek City hall that are available for viewing by appointment. The recently announced possible expansion is not completely designed yet. There is no wetlands on the parcel as it was productive farm land and where the retention pond and the parking lot are going was wooded. As a teenager I used to rabbit and pheasant hunt in that area.

  7. Rick

    It is best to let Oak Creek worry about it. The renderings look very nice and it will compliment the area as College Ave was reconstructed with the business park in mind. Expend the energy on the CAT site before that becomes a blighted development.

  8. Cory

    What is happening in the south end of south Milwaukee aldi parking lot? It looks like something may be getting built there and never heard anything of it if that’s what’s happening.

  9. Keri

    They should have built this in an industrial park and not on a busy main road. Stupid place if you ask me.

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