The U.S. Post Office in the Spring Center shopping center will move temporarily into the Silver Spring Library on 900 Wayne Avenue to make room for the Purple Line.
Like the other stores in the strip mall on 16th Street, the post office was forced to vacate. The post office is the last to go, and demolition work already has begun on the site.
Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, 7-11, El Aguila Restaurant, Cameron’s Seafood, Spring Garden Restaurant and Pizza Hut are just a few of the stores that were given notice. Most of the stores have relocated elsewhere. Some closed for good.
Empty storefronts and a silver fence are all that remain at the once-busy shopping center in Silver Spring.
The post office currently is preparing to open on the first floor of the library in downtown Silver Spring on July 17 and is expected to remain there until March of 2019.
After it moves out, Arts on the Block in Kensington will fill the space with its mosaic workshop, digital design studio, retail storefront, gallery, and administrative office, according to its website. The move is necessary, as the facility has outgrown its Kensington location.
The U.S. Postal Service will pay $10,700 a month for the temporary space in the library, according to Judy Stiles, County spokesperson.
The postal service is seeking a permanent location but has not been able to find one yet, said Tom Ouellette, corporate communications manager for the Capital Metro area.
“There is no intention of staying there forever,” he said.
The goal is to find a space “as close as possible to the one we are vacating,” on 16th Street, he said. The new space also must include ample parking spaces for customers and a loading dock for the mail trucks, he said.
Customers can park at the Wayne Avenue Garage across from the library while the post office is located there.
The space the post office has been filling currently is vacant.
Construction to make way for the Purple Line also is taking place at Silver Spring International Middle School on Wayne Avenue, now that school has finished for the summer. The parking lot will be configured, and new entrances to the school will be constructed throughout the summer.
The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and will provide connections to Metrorail’s Red, Green and Orange lines at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.