The York City Post Office building, located at South George Street and West Princess Street, in an April 2011 photo
The York City Post Office building, located at South George Street and West Princess Street, in an April 2011 photo (John A. Pavoncello / jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

York City's post office will soon leave the huge marble landmark it has occupied since about 1911, relocating into two vacant West Market Street storefronts between the Junior League of York and Chinatown Express Chinese restaurant.

Mayor Kim Bracey, whose administration helped organize the move to keep the office in the city's core business district, said the move represents both the end of an era and some fresh possibilities.

"We're all going to miss the edifice that was the York City Post Office," she said. "But any time we're able to fill a vacant building in downtown York, I always remain optimistic (for more redevelopment)."

Lifelong Yorkers might miss the stately old building at 200 S. George St., but the move to 152-162 W. Market St. brings an opportunity for contagious redevelopment along the corridor, she said.

The U.S. Postal Service is remodeling the new building, installing post office boxes and building counters to create a retail space, said spokesman Ray Daiutolo.

The move will occur sometime in July, simultaneous with the closing date for the South George Street property, he said.

He declined to provide an exact date or name of a buyer for the old building, though businessman and developer Themi Sacarellos has identified himself as the purchaser.

Retail space: Brokerage adviser Larry O'Brien managed the post office's new lease through Rock Commercial Realty.

He said the post office will fill about 3,600 square feet of a three-bay first-floor retail space, and the location comes with 14 parking spaces designated for customers.

He declined to disclose the cost of the lease.

The building is owned by Zhen Ting Li and Guang Wen Li, the couple who owns Chinatown Express and bought the building when it became distressed last year, O'Brien said.

There are several vacant storefronts along the corridor, which was one of York's busiest shopping areas during the downtown's heyday, and O'Brien said locating the post office in the block will bring "spin-off development."

The Postal Service has been looking to unload the historic 68,000-square-foot South George Street building for a couple of years, saying the space is too big and expensive to maintain.

Sacarellos hasn't disclosed his plans for the building, which had been listed at $800,000.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.