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United States postal workers are preparing to move from the original Medford post office to the new location on 325 South Riverside Drive which will open Tuesday. Bob Pennell / Mail Tribune photo - Bob Pennell

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A bright red awning on a former auto dealership will create a vivid signpost for residents looking for the new U.S. post office in downtown Medford next week.

At 8:30 a.m Tuesday, the Medford post office will open at its new address at 325 S. Riverside Ave., leaving behind the 333 W. Eighth St. location that has been its home for more than 40 years.

The new building, formerly the site of the Dollar GMC dealership, has attracted some postal customers who assumed it was already open for business.

"I like the color and the racing stripe," said Brian McRoy, a 63-year-old Medford resident who stopped by the site thinking the new post office was open.

The Postal Service's last day in its old building will be Saturday, when the doors will close to the public at 2 p.m.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, everything will be moved to the new location at the corner of Riverside Avenue and 10th Street..

Postal workers were busy Thursday preparing post office boxes and installing equipment in the new 4,800-square-foot building that will offer retail services and post office boxes.

"It made sense to relocate," said Ron Anderson, a USPS spokesman in Portland.

Much of the old 26,000-square-foot location on Eighth Street was no longer used. Sorting and distribution operations had already been moved to Sage Road.

The post office building, which also formerly housed U.S. Forest Service staff, was sold to Jackson County for $2,026,900 last August.

Jackson County is preparing to convert the building into a central location for the county's health services operations.

The post office signed a 10-year lease with two five-year options with the Dollar GMC building's owner, Alan DeBoer

Anderson said he could not reveal how much the lease payments were on the new building.

He said the post office should see a reduction in expenses because it no longer has to maintain the much larger Eighth Street building.

Retail hours will remain the same, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. The post office is closed Sundays.

Post office customers will notice one big improvement at the new location. A large parking lot surrounds the Riverside building, which was formerly used as a vehicle sales lot.

"It'll be a lot easier with the parking," McRoy said as he surveyed the new building. "The red color lets you know where it's at."

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email dmann@mailtribune.com.

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