BACK BAY — Despite online rumors, the post office in rural Back Bay remains open, and there are no plans to close it.
The property the U.S. Postal Service leases for Back Bay Station is for sale, according to interviews with the seller and the postmaster of Virginia Beach.
But the lease, which has more than a decade left on it, goes with the property and remains in effect unless broken.
Virginia Beach Postmaster Joseph A. Croce Jr. today said the sale of the property is beyond the control of the U.S. Postal Service, but there is an agreement in place.
“Whoever has the property inherits us until our lease expires,” Croce said.
“As far as we are aware, we have a signed lease and intend to occupy that building until we no longer have that building,” he added.
Rumors arose this week after a sign announcing the half-acre parcel is for sale went up in front of the building near where Princess Anne and North Stowe roads meet. The half-acre site is on sale for $275,000, but the sign also specifies the sale is for the property and the lease. Selling the property does not mean shuttering the post office.
“The post office can stay there as long as they want to,” said Martha DeLong, who is the daughter of the late Shepherd Smith and is administering his estate.
Smith, a Moyock, N.C., man who lived for many years in Virginia Beach, owned the property, and his heirs are selling it, DeLong said. Smith was a farmer and owned a site construction company that did work throughout the region.
DeLong said she has fielded calls from concerned folks, and she wants to clear up the rumors. She said the U.S. Postal Service has options on the lease that mean it could be there for many years to come.
“Please let folks know it is the leasehold and the property being sold,” she said during a telephone interview. “The post office is not going anywhere.”
The small outpost mainly serves rural residents from Pungo to the North Carolina border, some of whom, judging from online comments, seemed concerned at having to choose between post offices in Knotts Island, N.C., and the Courthouse area of Virginia Beach for their future mail needs.
Back Bay Station was open today when The Independent News stopped by to snap a photo and pick up the mail.
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