December 10, 2013
The Los Angeles Times published a piece over the weekend about sales of post offices and protests they have aroused. The article notes that CBRE is “the private entity that holds an exclusive contract to broker postal service real estate. … Riling many here is the exclusive deal with CBRE Group, whose chairman, Richard Blum, is married to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
“A recent e-book by investigative journalist Peter Byrne details allegations of below-market sales to CBRE clients and investors. (CBRE has declined to comment on those claims.) A June audit by the Office of Inspector General raised unrelated ‘conflict of interest’ concerns and noted ‘poor oversight’ of the CBRE contract.”
PETER BYRNE, pbyrne at sonic.net
Byrne is author of Going Postal: The Husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has Been Selling Post Offices to his Friends, Cheap. The first chapter of the book has been excerpted.
GRAY BRECHIN, gbrechin at berkeley.edu
Brechin is founder and project scholar of the Living New Deal Project at UC Berkeley. He said today: “Towns and cities throughout our entire country are losing their historic post offices and often the New Deal artworks designed for them. The giant real estate company CBRE advises the USPS on what post offices to sell and then profits by representing both the seller and buyer.”
“USPS management plans to sell Berkeley’s magnificent 1914 Main Post Office containing a New Deal sculpture and mural. Our grandparents paid for this building and many others in the country that are on the USPS-CBRE hit list. They belong to us as much as do the National Parks. National landmark status and widespread community opposition counts for nothing as USPS management continues to liquidate the public’s property and its constitutionally guaranteed service while the press sleeps on what Americans are losing and who is profiting from their loss.”