The Del Rey Neighborhood Council is exploring the possibility of acquiring the property currently holding the U.S. Postal Service Marina Processing and Distribution Center, 13031 Jefferson Blvd., Del Rey area, to develop park space that may be used by Del Rey and surrounding communities.

The U.S. Postal Service has approved the closing of its Marina Processing Center to consolidate operations into the larger Los Angeles Processing Center at 7001 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles.

Postal Service officials have said they expect all operations to be moved out of the Marina Processing Center by Thursday, July 14th.

The Marina Center property covers approximately 20 acres.

The Postal Service has not released plans for a sale of the property, but Del Rey community members are looking at the possibility of acquiring the property for park space and community use if and when the property is up for sale.

Larry Dozier, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said a “very conservative” appraisal of $35 million was given for the property, but “when the property is put on the market it’ll go for what the market will bear.”

Chris Nevil, president of the Del Rey Homeowners and Neighbors Association, appeared before the Del Rey Neighborhood Council Wednesday, April 13th, to present a proposal to acquire the Marina Center property.

“This represents one of the few opportunities to develop park, play and community space for the Del Rey community,” he said.

The Del Rey community has a strong need for park space and has an “extreme scarcity of field space for youths,” he said.

The “well-situated” property might also create some environmental benefits for the community and could potentially be used for a Del Rey community center, he said.

“This is one of the greatest accomplishments that we as a community could ever aspire to,” Nevil said.

“We must visualize this goal and make it happen,” he said. “Let’s unite and find a way to give the community major park and play space.”

Members of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council were supportive of the proposal and said they would begin to explore the options.

“It seems like an opportunity that we can’t afford to let go by,” said Steve Knight, Del Rey Neighborhood Council president.

Mark Redick, Neighborhood Council vice president, said developing park space for various athletic and recreational activities is a “community interest that we should rally upon.”

The Del Rey Neighborhood Council would also be interested in using a portion of the property for a community center because there is currently no permanent location in Del Rey to hold community meetings, Knight said.

Nevil said the community must still investigate what possible sources of funding exist to purchase the property, and the funding would most likely have to come from the state.

Redick agreed that the funding for the property would need to come from the state as well as the federal government. Funding could come through grants and special assessments such as municipal bonds, he said.

Del Rey Neighborhood Council representatives have started to contact other local community leaders and some local government representatives to seek support and begin the process.

“We need to start at the top, at the federal level,” Knight said. “The more pressure we put on people and the more publicity we get, the better off we are.”