We are fortunate to live in a community where civil dialogue is the norm rather than the exception. Then there are those times when emotions run high and frustration seems to inspire well-intentioned people to deviate from the civil and factual path. It’s always best to return to the facts, as is the case with the McIntyre Federal Building.
I would urge us all to take responsibility for learning the facts and understanding the complexity of this project.
Fact: The Post Office is moving and the USPS has chosen where they wish to relocate. The Post Office is a tenant of the federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA). In fall of 2016, the GSA gave notice to all tenants of its intention to dispose of the Daniel Street property, and put all tenants on notice of their need to relocate. The GSA requires all tenants to be out by January 2020.
Fact: The USPS will make the decision whether to come back downtown. The City is not “forcing out” the Post Office. The Post Office is relocating to Heritage Avenue to allow for the McIntyre property to be remediated and rehabilitated, but has promised the City, in writing, that it will consider returning either a) to the site or b) to the downtown as an appropriate space is identified. The redevelopment plan has earmarked space for return of the postal service.
Fact: Mitigation requires that all tenants move elsewhere until the building is once again safe for habitation. The City intends to acquire the property through a public-private partnership, which will remediate the property and building of hazardous materials, restore the McIntyre building in accordance with historic rehabilitation guidelines, foster public access and use of the site and ground floor uses, and introduce new, mixed uses throughout the entire parcel with a vibrant development. HubSpot (https://www.hubspot.com/company-news/portsmouthofficegrowth
), a high-tech marketing firm, has signed a letter of intent to occupy the office space in the McIntyre building.
Fact: The FBI and SS Administration are not remaining in the building; the GSA is trying to identify appropriate space for their relocation and anticipates all tenants will be out of the building by January 2020.
Facts, not disingenuous sensationalism, will allow us to continue a civil discussion as the City and the community work towards the best solution for the use of this critically located building in our downtown.
And there you have it. Please, let’s keep moving forward together in a respectful manner.
For information, visit: https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/mcintyre-project
President and Chief Collaborator
The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth