Choosing the Right Commercial Mailbox for Your Tenants – Part 1: Pedestal Commercial Mailboxes

August 29, 2011

Florence 8 Door CBU MailboxEvery equipment purchase architects, builders, developers, and property managers make ultimately affects the tenant.  And that which affects one’s tenants, affects tenant retention (and one’s income stream resulting from it). So, the purchase of commercial mailboxes for one’s property rises above a simple utilitarian decision. Tenants utilize their commercial mailboxes every day.   Purchasing the right commercial mailbox for your property may make the difference when the lease comes up for renewal.

Commercial mailboxes are available for a variety of installation requirements but primarily these installations can be divided into two primary styles:  Wall-Mounted Commercial Mailboxes and Pedestal Commercial Mailboxes.  In this article, part one of a two part series, the focus will be on the pedestal commercial mailboxes available today and their suitability to particular property types.

CBU Mailboxes

For properties with 8 to 16 tenants (per commercial mailbox location) who have a preference for an upscale, decorative look (either with the first purchase or as a later upgrade), CBU commercial mailboxes (also called Cluster Box Units) are an excellent choice.   CBU Mailboxes are especially perfect for immediate installations as they are the only pedestal commercial mailboxes that do not require the buyer to first secure local postmaster approval.   Of course, even though approval is not required, it is strongly recommended that all new commercial mailbox installations are first reviewed by your local postmaster.

CBU mailboxes are available with 8, 12, 13, or 16 doors per CBU mailbox suite. These sturdy commercial mailboxes come in six different colors and four door-numbering styles.  Additionally, CBU commercial mailboxes are the only pedestal mounted commercial mailboxes that can be upgraded with decorative kits.  These luxurious, easy-to-install CBU mailbox decorative kits are available in two distinct styles:  a softer traditional, more colonial look or a well-defined, more angular Grecian style.  Both decorative mailbox kits are reasonably priced and instantly provide your commercial mailboxes with a distinctive, upscale look that tenants love.

Florence 4C Pedestal MailboxesCommercial 4C Pedestal Mailboxes

UPDATE: 4C Pedestal Mailboxes have been discontinued as of November 30, 2020. The USPS Cluster Box Unit (CBU) Mailbox is now the standard for all multi-family mail delivery.

For properties desiring to space out tenant mailboxes beyond the maximum 16 doors per location or below the 8 doors per location that the CBU mailboxes offer, the commercial 4C pedestal mailboxes are a superb choice.  Commercial 4C pedestal-mounted mailboxes are very versatile in configuration.  They are available with as few as 1 door to as many as 29 doors.  While there are no decorative kits yet available for the pedestal commercial mailboxes, these versatile 4c mailbox suites do come in a wide variety of eleven different colors.  Plus they feature four distinct door numbering styles that will provide a unique and attractive look for one’s tenants.

While the pedestal 4C commercial mailboxes are USPS approved (that is they are not a brand new product), the option to mount the 4C commercial mailbox on a pedestal is new.  Thus, mounting the 4C commercial mailboxes for use as a pedestal-mounted commercial mailbox requires the buyer to first gain local postmaster approval before installation.   (Of course, if the pedestal 4C commercial mailboxes are not used for USPS mail delivery, no postmaster approval is required.)

Commercial Outdoor Mailbox Centers:  Vario & Vario Express

Unique to the pedestal commercial mailbox category is the outdoor mailbox center that also features Outdoor Mailbox Shelters.  This mail center is the perfect choice for maximizing the number of mailboxes without sacrificing too much space.   The capacity per outdoor mail center is stunning.   Up to 696 tenant mailboxes can be grouped together.  And even if the mail center requires parcel lockers, a stunning 480 tenant mailboxes can still be achieved.

The benefit of grouping tenant mailboxes is not only the maximization the mailboxes per footprint but minimizing the cost per tenant mailbox.  Vario commercial mailbox centers allow one to achieve maximum cost efficiency.

Like the pedestal commercial 4C mailboxes, these commercial outdoor mailbox centers are available in eleven different colors and four distinct door numbering styles.  Unlike the 4C pedestal-mounted mailboxes, these units use two pedestals on each end to provide the support required for the larger number of tenant mailboxes.

These outdoor mail centers are available in two distinct styles:

  1. The first style is branded the “Vario Express.”  The Vario Express allows for up to 348 tenant mailboxes (if parcel lockers are required, one can still achieve a maximum of 240 tenant mailboxes).
  2. The second style consists of the beautifully constructed “Vario Shelters.”  These Vario Shelters hold the maximum number of tenant mailboxes in the market today, a stunning 696 (if parcel lockers are required then 480 tenant mailboxes is the maximum).

The Vario Express comes without a roof so that units may be placed back to back or front to front or even in a triangular or square to facilitate tenant interaction and minimize footprint.

The Vario is also built to the International Building Code Standards for 90 mph wind resistance and is also available with an option to withstand 150 mph hurricane winds.  Additionally, the Vario model comes with shelter supports for a customizable roof (roof tiles can be purchased locally to match or coordinate with the roof styles of the tenant’s building).

Regardless of the type of tenant application, there are great options for one’s tenant mailbox needs.  To get an easy-to-compare overview of these pedestal commercial mailboxes, take a look at the helpful chart immediately following this article.

Pedestal-Mounted Commercial Mailboxes – Comparison Chart


# of Tenant Doors

Postal Approval

Distinctive Features

Minimum Footprint

Cost Efficiency

Pedestal-Mounted Commercial Mailboxes



USPS Approved

Requires Local Postmaster Approval

Colors Available

Numbering Styles Available

Decorative Kits Available

Shelter Roof

At base

At widest point

Price Range per Unit

Cost per Tenant Door (using maximum doors)

CBU Mailboxes











Starts at $1100*


Commercial 4C Pedestal Mailboxes










18.75″ to 32.1875″

Starts at $617*


Vario Express Outdoor Mail Center








Two 12″ pedestal bases

47.8125″ to 114.75″

Starts at $2049*


Vario Shelter Outdoor Mail Center








Four 12″ pedestal bases

85.8125″ to 148.3125″

Call for best price

Excellent Efficiency

* includes pedestal & free shipping

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