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Ship Creek development one of Mayor Bronson’s top economic priorities

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 5:40 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Mayor Dave Bronson has picked five top projects he believes can jump-start the Anchorage economy. If one of them sounds familiar, it should.

The mayor wants to advance a plan to redevelop Ship Creek to include a mix of housing, retail and recreational opportunities. He’s working off a plan the city paid for in 2014 but was later shelved, asking members of his Anchorage Economic Revitalization and Diversification Advisory Committee (AERDAC) what it would take to put the project on the fast track.

“We’ve been given the task of investigating and communicating with all of the stakeholders to find out exactly what the mayor needs to do and what steps need to be taken to make that plan begin to move forward,” Advisory Committee Chair Mike Robbins said.

Robbins acknowledged past proposals have not materialized but said the “stars are aligning” to make it happen this time.

“The primary reason the project has been restarted is not only does the mayor see it as a valuable development for the city, but because we’ve been approached by several private parties who are interested in seeing the project move forward as well — and are willing to put their money where their mouth is and partner with government, to make it happen,” he said.

Robbins said the project may also qualify for Federal Infrastructure Funds.

Visit Anchorage CEO Julie Saupe said she was pleased to learn the mayor wants to revisit the project.

“I think there’s reasons in the past why development plans didn’t happen,” Saupe said. “I’m hopeful that this is a new time and we can find money and we can make a plan that makes sense for Anchorage, because it would be exciting.”

Robbins said the public can expect to hear a lot more about the project in the coming weeks. He said if all goes well, signs of development at Ship Creek could begin within two to three years.

In addition to the Ship Creek development, the mayor selected four other projects recommended by the advisory committee. Those projects include:

  • Supporting the Elmore-Bragaw Road extension to allow more access to the UMED District.
  • Encouraging the use of project facilitators and third-party commercial plan reviewers for large projects in Planning and Zoning.
  • Updating and improving the People Mover transit system.
  • Establishing a JBER “Eagle Team” to increase investment and expansion of military spending.

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