Bronx GPO conversion to retail space starts

The Bronx General Post Office, at the corner of Grand Concourse and East 149th Street, is set to undergo drastic changes, and has recently begun to implement the renovations.

Developers Youngwoo & Associates have plans to add retail space and restaurants to the lower floors, a restaurant and terrace on the roof, and three floors of office space in between.

A supermarket is currently negotiating a lease for ground floor space.

The developer plans to create a community centerpiece which would revitalize the mostly empty building, which is currently a United States Post Office station serving 10451.

Construction workers broke ground in January, but Hollister Construction Services, the construction manager handling the renovations, has just gotten started.

The core and shell of the Roosevelt-era building is currently being renovated and prepped for new office space, retailers, and restaurants.

“This will bring a lot of light to Grand Concourse, it’s a destination that doesn’t exist today,” said Brendan Murray, vice president of construction at Hollister.

Murray says that his team, made up of many Bronxites, is focusing on renovating the lobby and bringing it up to today’s standards, and replacing light fixtures throughout the building.

“We are modernizing the system, and bringing upgraded electrical service to the site,” said Murray.

This phase of the renovation is set to be completed by November 2016, although the new space will not open to the public until spring of 2017.

The post office will stay put, and will continue its activities throughout the entire renovation.

A separate contractor has been hired to renovate a small portion of the building’s lobby for a new post office. Once this space is ready, the mail facility will release its current space to Hollister so it can finish the first floor remodeling.

Since the building is landmarked, the marble floors throughout the building will not be disturbed, only restored.

Earlier this year the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the developer’s plans to add a rooftop restaurant.

The rooftop addition will feature polycarbonate walls, the material used to make I-pods.

The historic 1930s murals that currently adorn the lobby walls will also be preserved.

The names of all restaurants, offices, and retail stores coming into the location will be released once all the final leases are signed.

Youngwoo & Associates purchased the building for $19 million in 2014.

Reach Reporter Madeline Anthony at (718) 260-4591. E-mail her at manthony@cnglocal.com.

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