Good news for an area that's seen more than its share of shootings and burned out or shut down businesses over the years! The US Postal Service's East Union Post Office, which was once thought to be closing down, just signed a five-year lease with the landlord that will keep it on the corner. They'll move across the parking lot into a smaller space that was previously home to Mana Beauty Supply, whose owner is retiring and closing shop, according to Thomas Bangasser, the landlord. The post office expects to make the move in July and reopen in their new space by August—the main downside being that 750 post office boxes are going to be transplanted over to the Capitol Hill Post Office on Broadway and Denny.

"It’s a big thing, because we thought we were going to lose it," says Union Street Business Association Executive Director Savior Knowledge, who helped negotiate the deal. Next on the horizon is the return of Helen Coleman—the soul food chef extraordinare, previously at since-closed Deano's and Club Chocolate City in the same area—with her own restaurant and lounge, he says, possibly by the end the year. (And remember, as Gillian pointed out last year, that this is one of the only spots in Seattle where aspiring pot moguls are allowed to open a marijuana retail establishment.)

For now—yay post office! Go send someone a handwritten letter (I suggest Chelsea Manning)! Post offices are downsizing and closing across the country because of declining mail volume and revenues, postal service spokesman Ernie Swanson tells me. "A lot of times it’s those older folks who rely on the postal service. We’re glad we can make this transition as easy as possible."