For customers, the sale of the U.S. Post Office in downtown Fairfield will simply mean walking next door, according to Postal Service spokeswoman Maureen Marion.

"It will be lights out at one building at the end of a day and lights on at the new building the next," Marion said of the new, smaller postal outlet downtown.

The main Fairfield Post Office property at 1262 Post Road was sold to 1262 Post Road LLC, an affiliate of Westport Capital Partners, for $4.3 million. The new owners plan to develop the brick sturcture into retail shops, the firm said Thursday.

The new post office will be located in much smaller space at 1300 Post Road.

"People will have the same post office box number, the same everything," Marion said. "It will be a much smaller footprint for our purposes."

Letter carriers no longer work out of the downtown post office. "That's why the foot space has changed so dramatically," Marion said.

The sale, she said, will bring much-needed revenue to the Postal Service while bringing "an under-used, magnificent building that has life and a use into the community."

Marion said the move is expected to take place on or about Sept. 1, though she said that is a "soft" date that depends on when the work on the new postal quarters is finished. "We won't close before the new one opens," she said.

The current Fairfield Post Office is a one-story brick building constructed in 1935, and is home to a New Deal-era mural from 1938, "Tempora Mutanur et Nos Mutamur in Illis." According to the quit-claim deed on the property's sale, if the Postal Service does not remove the mural, the new owners must "ensure the preservation and appropriate treatment" of the art work.

The sales transaction also requires that all original woodwork in the building's public lobby area be preserved and that the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office will have an opportunity to review architectural plans for any demolition or alterations to the building's wings that were added after the original construction. The original core of the building must remain.

Christine Dugas, also a USPS spokeswoman, said a final decision on the future of the mural has not yet been reached. "Certainly, it will find a new home," she said. "It will not be disposed of, and will be very carefully preserved."

The buyer of the postal property plans to renovate the 10,716-square-foot building into shops. The property, which includes a large parking lot behind the building, is appraised at $4.89 million.

The quit-claim deed on file in the town clerk's office indicates that the buyer, 1262 Post Road LLC, is a Delaware LLC. A search of the state of Delaware's website, as of Friday morning, did not turn up an LLC registered in that name. There is a 1262 Post Road LLC registered with the Secretary of the State's office in Connecticut as of March 6, 2012, with an active business status. Redgate Partners LLC is listed as a member of that Connecticut LLC, and Leo Redgate, who had operated the Community Theater moviehouse and ran it via a nonprofit foundation until it closed last year, is listed as a member of Redgate Partners LLC. Redgate Partners LLC is also listed with an active business status and registered with the state on March 6, 2012, as well. Redgate said while he is involved in the project, he is not the owner of record.

"This is a unique opportunity to acquire an iconic building in a community that values a downtown, pedestrian retail experience," said Russel S. Bernard, the managing principal of Westport Capital Partners. "We look forward to maintaining this as a premier property."