The U.S. Postal Service plans to keep open the Alla Vista retail facility at Alla Road and Jefferson Boulevard adjacent to Home Depot in the Del Rey area, despite a decision to close the Postal Service Marina Processing and Distribution Center, according to Larry Dozier, a spokesman for the Postal Service in Los Angeles.

The Postal Service approved a proposal Tuesday, January 11th, to close the local Marina Processing Center at 13031 Jefferson Blvd. and consolidate operations into the Los Angeles Processing Center, 7001 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles.

The adjacent Alla Vista retail facility was originally scheduled to close along with the Marina Processing Center, but the Postal Service wants to allow for continued convenience for its customers, Dozier said.

“The goal was always to keep a retail presence in the area,” he said. “We wanted to keep the convenience there.

“It is more convenient for the customers to keep it at that site.”

The retail facility was originally planned to stay open for only a few months after the Marina Processing Center moves in the early summer, but William Almaraz, Postal Service Los Angeles district manager, made the decision to keep the facility open indefinitely, Dozier said.

Even though the Alla Vista facility was originally scheduled to close, the Postal Service had never planned to remove the retail presence from the area, Dozier said. Retail Postal Services are also available at other nearby post offices, including 4766 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey; 215 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey; and 9029 Airport Blvd., Westchester.

While the Postal Service goal is to maintain the Alla Vista facility at its current location, another retail facility may have to be constructed in the immediate area, depending on negotiations with a potential purchaser of the Marina Center property, Dozier said.

The plans for a potential sale of the property are handled by the Postal Service facility operations, but will not be negotiated until the Marina Processing Center is vacated, he said.

“If we can keep it there (at the current location), that would be ideal,” Dozier said.

“One way or another, we will have a retail presence in that immediate area.”

The Alla Vista retail facility, which was originally part of the Marina Processing Center, has provided service for local customers since October 2002, he said.

“It has become very popular,” he said. “It fills the need.”

The decision to keep the retail facility open will also help ensure that the customers do not experience any change, which is one of the Postal Service’s goals in closing the Marina Processing Center, he said.

“By keeping it (the Alla Vista retail Post Office) there it will keep the move even more transparent to customers,” he said.

John Driver, American Postal Workers Union president for the Marina Center, said the transition will not be transparent, primarily because of the loss of the Marina Processing Center’s bulk mail unit, which generates $40 million a year.

Bulk mailers will now have to travel to the Los Angeles Center.

“The bulk mail unit doesn’t allow for transparency,” Driver said. “There is no transparency for bulk mailers.”

The union has expressed strong opposition to the Marina Processing Center closure because of its impact on the community and employees who will have to relocate.

Driver called Postal Service plans to keep the Alla Vista unit open indefinitely a “publicity stunt.”

“I think it’s an attempt to please the people now and then later pull the rug from underneath them,” he said.

“If the plans are legitimate, it would be good for the community because it (Alla Vista) is one of the good things about the plant,” he said.

The Alla Vista unit is a “good service office” with late hours of operation and it will be needed when the Playa Vista development is completed, causing the area’s mail volume to multiply, Driver said.

Although the Alla Vista retail Post Office facility will stay open, Dozier said the Postal Service expects to have all of the Marina Processing Center employees and equipment moved by Thursday, July 14th.