Off Duffner Drive, it will handle trucks and the mail’s distribution
LYNDEN — A building that will be a Post Office “carrier annex” is being built off Duffner Drive in west Lynden.
Developer Mike Kooy is having the 5,000-square-foot facility built, using local contractors, with the foundation now already in. Staying as the owner, he hopes to have the building ready for U.S. Post Office tenant improvements by October, although first use is not anticipated until early 2020, he said.
This facility will be for receiving, sorting and distributing of mail, not for interaction with the public.
“They don’t want public frontage,” Kooy said. “They need a truck dock there and plenty of room to turn around.”
To reinforce that, Kooy will have an additional building pad fronting on Duffner that will accommodate mixed-use retail, he said.
This is something the U.S. Post Office in Lynden has been looking into for some time, and he struck a deal to accomplish it, Kooy said. “They were getting overloaded downtown.”
As he understands it, the fleet of small white delivery trucks and larger trucks bringing in loads of mail will be shifted to Duffner.
Lynden Postmaster Brian Mouche confirmed that the new facility will “house all carriers” of mail.
For about 12 years now, Lynden has had four of its eastern and southern rural routes operating out of the Everson Post Office, he said. That can now end, and the operation of those routes will return to Lynden.
Mouche emphasized that interaction with the public, including mail holds and sales of postage, will continue in the existing Post Office at Sixth and Front streets. “I like being in the downtown corridor,” he said.
There will be some shuttling of mail between the two sites two miles apart, but the new facility should greatly relieve the “clogged ingress and egress” of so many vehicles that has characterized the downtown, he said — on an alley with a mail dropoff box and other businesses in close proximity.
Mouche said the growth of internet buying has meant more activity for Lynden mail carriers, including Sunday delivery of packages.
Almost 20 years ago, the U.S. Postal Service was looking at a secondary facility for Lynden, until the national funding got pulled. Now, with the surge of e-commerce, “it helped show the need for a facility sooner than later.”
Everett will remain the transportation hub that all Lynden mail goes to for sorting — typically two truck departures per day — but that truck traffic will be at Duffner.
Of the change for the average postal customer, Mouche said, “The citizen is not going to notice any difference.”
The building will be built to national USPS specifications and was not subject to local design review.
kooy said it will be a metal exterior building with wood trim and an asphalt surface parking and transfer area.
Kooy said that although a federally-used facility such as this can be exempt from local rules, he has gone through the local building-permit process and will abide by all the normal parameters. “I went through all the regular facets, and everything is legit as far as zoning and all that goes.”
The zoning of the property at 114 S. Duffner Drive is Regional Commercial Services, allowing this type of use.
The building permit application with the city by Kooy’s Anchor Development company speaks of a “warehouse shell” for a “sorting facility and secured packing” with a pair of restrooms and “rough plumbing.”