ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – A downtown Anchorage construction project that has been in the works for a long time is about to become a reality. However, part of the project is causing some companies to fear that they will have to relocate.
Some downtown Anchorage business owners are angry with city leaders and are demanding their voices be heard.
Construction of the highly anticipated 6th Avenue Parking Mall is set to begin in October. However, the People Mover Transit Center located at the parking structure will need to be temporarily moved three blocks on 6th Avenue between C and E streets.
“This is going to kill my business,” said Kim Stalder, owner of Circular Boutique. “Finally coming out of COVID, we all are. We’re starting to see some light and throwing ourselves something like this now, it’s just, it’s really hard.
She said hers and five other businesses would lose about eight parking spaces located in front of their storefronts.
“Certainly for me it will mean a huge loss of revenue,” Stalder said. “My clients are – they’re busy, they need convenient parking.”
Right next to the street-side parking spaces is the JC Penny Public Parking Structure, but some local business owners said the structure really wouldn’t help solve their problems.
“I think a lot of it is cultural. For one thing, we live in Alaska, so Alaskans are generally not walkers,” said Jeremy Cubas, CEO of Madmen Studios. “… tell our customers ‘hey, park two blocks away (further away) or in the parking lot there, they kind of don’t want to do that and so it’s more of an irritation for them .”
Another concern for them is people loitering at the transit center. In a statement to Alaska News Source, Tent City Taphouse co-owner John Snead said that when the municipality trial run the location in June 2020, they “immediately saw an increase in people hanging out in our stores wanting to use restrooms while waiting for their bus No restrooms provided by MOA.
Cubas said it was also common to see disruptive and destructive behavior.
“People that our clients really don’t feel comfortable walking with, especially if they’re coming alone or if it’s a young woman,” Cubas said.
Ultimately, Stalder said the companies, along with some customers, were considering starting a campaign to send letters to Mayor Dave Bronson’s office asking the public transportation department to find an alternate site.
“I feel a bit 50-50,” Cubas said.
Alaska’s News Source heard from Bronson’s office late Tuesday afternoon in a written statement that read:
“After proposing and reviewing several sites downtown, Transit was instructed by the former City Manager and former Mayor (Berkowitz) to move all of its operations to Nordstrom/JC Penney in preparation for the construction that was to have taken place. take place in 2020.
As noted, the work surrounding this effort is already complete. Transit does not currently have the funding, alternate location, technology, or time to recreate this work prior to the construction date identified by ACDA.
The Municipality of Anchorage is working to find a solution that meets the needs of business owners as well as those who rely on public transportation to get around town to work, other businesses, and home. The Municipality of Anchorage has provided alternative options for businesses that will be impacted by the temporary relocation of the transit hub.
The Municipality of Anchorage is confident that a solution can be found that works for both groups. »
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