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New apartment complex slated for downtown Anchorage

The building will feature 44 studio and one bedroom apartments at market rates.
The building will feature 44 studio and one bedroom apartments at market rates.(Anchorage Community Development Authority)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 6:20 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The COVID-19 pandemic has hit downtown Anchorage particularly hard. Restaurants struggle to stay open, and other businesses have closed, but a bright spot may be coming in the way of a new housing project.

The Anchorage Community Development Authority is partnering with Debenham Properties to build a new apartment building at 8th and K Streets. The lot, which is owned by ACDA, is located behind the Municipal Health Building. Melinda Gant, with ACDA, said the $6.2 million project will feature 44 one-bedroom and studio apartments at market rate, with rents between $1,100 and $1,500 a month.

Gant said the project will provide approximately 60 construction jobs, generate new property taxes for the municipality, but, just as importantly, a new place for people to live downtown.

“If people are living here, they are going to stay downtown,” said Gant. “They are going to want to shop. They are going to want to dine. They are going to want to do all the outside events located around downtown.”

For too long downtown has mostly shut down after workers leave for the evening. Gant said ACDA has concentrated on new housing projects as a way to bring people back. Another project, centered at the downtown Transit Center, which included a boutique hotel and housing, fell through last year. Gant said local developer Larry Cash of RIM Architects has since stepped in.

“We know that a high-end hotel is still needed in downtown Anchorage, despite the lack of tourism that we are seeing right now... We also know that housing needs to be an element of it,” said Gant. “And then there’s going to be retail, still the restaurant focus and then People Mover will eventually be moved back into their space on H Street.”

Gant said they expected to sign a new development agreement soon for the project with construction beginning in early 2022.

The new apartment building should be finished much sooner. Provided it gets approval from the Anchorage Assembly, Gant said the project is scheduled to break ground in May.

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