4 Things to Consider when Purchasing Commercial Mailboxes for Your Development

January 15, 2013

Florence 4C MailboxesWith the impressive array of choices in USPS-approved Commercial Mailboxes available to builders, developers, and property managers today, it is crucial to understand which type of commercial mailboxes best fits your development or project. Whether you need front loading, rear loading, vertical or horizontal commercial mailboxes, to discover which of the many styles fits your development, first touch base with your local postmaster early on in the process to gain their valuable perspectives and as you do, consider these four factors before buying commercial mailboxes:

  1. Located indoors or outdoors
  2. Multiple locations or centrally located
  3. Options for mounting commercial mailboxes
  4. If extra security options are needed

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.

Indoor or Outdoor Commercial Mailboxes

First, when buying commercial mailboxes for your development, consider whether the commercial mailboxes will be located indoors or outdoors. For indoor applications, consider horizontal commercial mailboxes (also called 4C commercial mailboxes), which can be mounted one of three ways:

  1. Mounted as an inset into an interior wall for rear or front loading
  2. Mounted onto the wall with a special surface mount collar
  3. Or mounted on a commercial mailbox stand

Each of the 4C commercial mailboxes is constructed with durable aluminum and 300 series stainless steel. Most city buildings utilize 4C commercial mailboxes.

Florence 8 Door Bronze Traditional CBUCentralized Commercial Mailboxes or Multiple Locations

Second, when selecting the best type of commercial mailboxes for your project or development consider whether the commercial mailboxes will be located in one setting or at more than one setting on your property. Many property managers grasp that this decision has a long-term capacity to create high tenant satisfaction if made with the tenant’s needs in mind.

Centralized Commercial Mailboxes – Properties that are best suited for a single setting centralized mail delivery system are high rises and developments where most all other property features are concentrated together, such as units with one parking lot or where transportation drop-offs such as the subway or taxi stand are in one location. In such properties, centralized commercial mailboxes may also be located in one setting between the main entrance and the tenant units. Typically, one-setting interior locations are best served by 4C Commercial Mailboxes, while one-setting outdoor locations may be serviced by CBU Mailboxes or 4C commercial mailboxes inset into a Vario Depot Mail Stand.

Commercial Mailboxes in Multiple Locations– Properties that are the best candidates for multiple settings of commercial mailboxes are often those with many other features that are not concentrated together on the property (such as parking near the tenant units and multiple entrances). In properties such as these, locating the commercial mailboxes in multiple locations simply makes sense as that decision places the tenant mailboxes between their entrance to the building and their tenant unit. Multi-setting exterior mailbox applications are typically best served by CBU mailboxes while multi-setting interior applications are best served by 4C commercial mailboxes mounted strategically between the entrances and tenant units.

Mounting Commercial Mailboxes

Third, once one decides whether the commercial mailboxes will be located indoors or outdoors and whether the commercial mailboxes will be placed in a single setting or in multiple settings, the next crucial decision is to decide how to mount commercial mailboxes.

Mounting Indoor Commercial Mailboxes – The mounting options for indoor 4C commercial mailboxes are straightforward; most are inset into an interior wall for rear or front loading. Those that are not suited for inset mounting are either mounted onto the wall with a special surface mount collar or simply mounted as commercial mailboxes on a mailbox stand. Additionally, whether installed indoors or outdoors, the Vario Depot Mail Stand can be utilized to allow the 4C mailboxes to become free-standing.

Mounting Outdoor Commercial Mailboxes – The mounting options typically skew to pedestal mounted CBU mailboxes although exterior wall mount commercial mailboxes are also popular choices. For exterior wall-mounted mailboxes, choose 4C horizontal commercial mailboxes.

For exterior locations, one should also carefully consider whether a Vario Express mounting application or Vario mounting application would improve the installation and tenant convenience of one’s 4C commercial mailboxes. Vario mailbox stand applications encase the 4C commercial mailboxes in a pedestal-mounted collar that secures the commercial mailboxes for exterior locations.  Vario Depot mailbox stands are also an excellent choice for exterior locations as they provide both shelter for inclement weather conditions as well as an architecturally pleasing addition to one’s property.

Security Options for Commercial Mailboxes

The last consideration when choosing the best type of commercial mailboxes for your development is to consider whether the commercial mailboxes will require high security or extra high-security features. Most commercial mailbox applications will be best served by typical installations as US postal standards ensure a high level of security and vandalism resistance in the build of the units. However, for high theft areas and areas at risk of vandalism, consider the extra high-security CBU mailboxes, which have significant reinforcements to resist theft and vandalism.

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