How Post Offices Come to Be
Owning a U.S. Postal Service property has several other advantages not available in most commercial real estate investments. Many investors do not realize that most USPS occupied buildings are not owned by the government but leased to them by owners/investors. Most, but not all, post offices have been designed for use by the postal service.
When the U.S. Postal Service decides they need a post office building, but there are no suitable existing spaces, they send a site person to the area to take an option to buy the land. Then, through a bidding process, a contractor who has been approved by the postal service makes a bid by filling in a blank USPS lease form with their proposed rental rates, terms, and conditions. The USPS then chooses a contractor to build the facility to the USPS's specifications.
The winning contractor then has to buy the land under the terms of the USPS option to purchase the site. The base, or initial, term of the lease is generally 10, 15, or 20 years with a series of five year options. The lease can have various riders and amendments and these affect the value of the investment.