Signed, sealed, delivered: Atlanta investors ID'd as Westport post office buyer
Updated 11:09 am, Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The investment group that last week purchased the Post Road East building that houses the town's post office is considering a range of future uses for the site.
Ansley Westport Partners, a limited liability company of Atlanta-area investors, bought the 10,000-square-foot building at 154 Post Road East from the U.S. Postal Service last Wednesday for $2.35 million. During the next few months, the Postal Service will lease back the property from Ansley Westport until its Westport post office moves to Playhouse Square. Postal Service officials have not yet disclosed a relocation date.
Following the Postal Service's departure, a retail outlet, restaurant, offices or a mixed-used complex could occupy the building, according to Ansley Westport principal and Atlanta-based lawyer, Alon Panovka.
"It's a unique and historic building. We appreciate the importance of the building to Westport," he said. "We would like to find a tenant that will enhance the downtown Westport area."
Aside from the Postal Service temporary rental, no new leases for 154 Post Road East have been signed yet, he added.
Panovka, whose brother owns a home in town, said he has visited Westport several times.
The acquisition of the property culminates a months-long tussle between the town and the Postal Service over the future of the site. After announcing his opposition to the post office's relocation to smaller quarters at Playhouse Square, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff criticized the Postal Service in March for not considering a buyer that was willing to accommodate a smaller postal retail operation at its current location.
Last month, Joseloff retracted and apologized for that assertion, claiming that a postal official misstated the buyer's plans in a letter to him. Joseloff was unavailable for comment on the sale.
The Postal Service had owned the building at 154 Post Road East since it was built in 1935.
The Westport-based commercial real estate firm HK Group, and Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm headquartered in New York City, respectively represented Ansley Westport Partners and the Postal Service in the sale of 154 Post Road East.