Downtown Transit Center project may finally be getting off the ground

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:34 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:52 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A downtown construction project that’s been long in the making is a step closer to becoming a reality.

Anchorage Assembly members unanimously approved a ground lease to local development company 6th Avenue Center, LLC to develop the downtown Transit Center, which is also known as the 6th Avenue Parking Mall.

The project includes adding a hotel, restaurant, retail spaces and housing to the façade of the building. leaving the parking garage and a redesigned bus terminal in place. A press release from the Anchorage Community Development Authority said that the new hotel would be downtown Anchorage’s first new hotel in 20 years.

“The project is estimated to bring $60 to $65 million dollars of investment into Anchorage, create up to 160 jobs during the construction phase, and generate millions in new bed and property tax revenues,” the release said.

The project is very similar to one that never got off the ground just a few years ago. Community Development Authority Executive Director Mike Robbins said that teh previous project had a different developer who failed to meet deadlines. This time, Robbins is confident the project will move forward.

“We’ve signed a 99-year ground lease which gives them the ability to go out and get the financing and be able to execute on the project,” he said. “Ninety-nine years is generations, and banks and investors have confidence they’ll step forward and make that investment.”

Another person who is confident the project will happen is Mayor Dave Bronson. Bronson, who calls himself “stridently pro-development” said it’s the city’s job to smooth the way for developers. He said Anchorage needs more large building projects.

“It creates jobs and then that stimulates more development and more investment,” he said. “We need to bring the capital into the city to create these kinds of projects.”

Construction is projected to start in October 2022 and be completed in September of 2023.

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