Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Its most recently been used as a construction lot. What does the future hold?
The Alaska Mental Health Trust plans to sell the near three-acre parcel later this year.
City Manager Rorie Watt said the parcel will be marketed by a brokerage firm and then sold through a sealed-bid auction to the highest bidder. A public notice of the sale will be forthcoming and the auction planned in late summer 2019.
Watt said the Trust has been very generous to Juneau with substantial grants for the Forget Me Not Manor and funding of the Homeless Coordinator position and operation of the warming center.
"They provide a lot of financial resources to Juneau to support a lot of really good activities," he added.
The trust has 1 million acres around the state. They are required to get the best financial deal on these parcels.
The Trust will set a low bid price after appraisal. They have already put out a request for proposals for a broker.
"Still moving in the right direction. We will continue to monitor that."
There was one offer in 2016 from a private buyer willing to pay over market value. "It has been frustrating that our communities economic interest has been stymied and the property hasn't been sold sooner."
Watt said it is a really good opportunity for Juneau to work on the key concept of the Juneau economic plan and play to the communities strength.
"I think the downtown waterfront is one of our great strengths."
He said the estimated value of the property is just over $3 million.
Watt said the Juneau Seawalk is close to this property and he indicated the CBJ would have some interest in a purchase of the property. He said the docks and harbors department has worked on the development of a small dock for smaller cruise ships in that area.
"It is not out of the realm of possibility but we haven't been considered a potential buyer. I would be reluctant to compete with private interests."
He didn't rule out a possible private-public partnership on the property.
The CBJ plan for the Seawalk is quite flexible. They have been negotiating deals with land owners for over 15 years. The goal is for a pedestrian walkway for the entire length of the waterfront to the rock pit. "We want to enhance private sector investment, and build a pedestrian corridor that works for all property owners and meets our long term goals."
Watt added that everyone works carefully when it comes to waterfront projects. "I'm pretty confident we will be seen as a good partner and we can negotiate good Seawalk deals to serve the community."