STREET CONSTRUCTION MOVES UP FRANKLIN STREET
The City and Borough continues to push the construction of new street and sidewalk improvements farther up Franklin Street, according to a recent bulletin. At present, the project is in an active phase with utility work between Front and Franklin and Franklin and Second Street. Once First street is complete, the contractor plans to continue up the left-hand side of Franklin Street with storm drain and conduit installation. New curb and sidewalk will follow. According to CBJ ‘s Lori Sowa, “The contractor closed North Franklin Street on September 3 from Front Street to Second.” This section will remain closed for the duration of the project (through mid- October) Pedestrian access will be provided to this
MENTAL HEALTH TRUST TO STUDY FUTURE OPTIONS FOR ITS LARGE WATERFRONT PARCEL IN JUNEAU
The Trust, which owns over 1,000,000 acres of land statewide, also owns select parcels of waterfront property in Southeast—including a large parcel of waterfront in downtown Juneau, which is located adjacent to the Coast Guard dock. Because the Trust owes its duty to over 60,000 Alaskans who benefit from Mental Health/ alcohol and drug services that it funds from the return on its assets. The decision has been made to study options for the property including a sale or a long term lease to interested parties. Recently the Trust hired the Urban Land Institute, a real estate think-tank staffed by real estate experts who will visit Juneau and present the options to the Trust at a later date. As a part of the process, the ULI panel will interview Juneau notables who will weigh in on how they see this part of the Juneau waterfront used in the future.
SHI DEDICATES TOTEMS DOWNTOWN—NOMINATES IT TO BE CALLED “HERITAGE SQUARE”
The Sealaska Heritage Institute has dedicated three new bronze sculptures on the site of the Soboleff Building at the corner of Front and Seward Streets. The bronzes were installed facing the Sealaska parking lot which has been identified as a potential site for a future “Northwest Coast Indian Art Market” that the Institute has been planning for years. In her remarks dedicating the new artwork, SHI president Rosita Worl predicted that the area would soon be known as “Heritage Square,” reflecting the commitment of the non-profit to build on Juneau’s future as the “center of Northwest Coast Indian art” “It will be recognized as the most significant center for Northwest indigenous arts across the world,” she added. Tsimshian, Haida and Tlingit artists were recognized at the event which drew a crowd of about 250 persons.
LEASE MARKET CONTINUES TO DRAW NEW TENANTS; MARKET IS CHARACTERIZED AS “MOVE-UP”
The office lease market continues to draw new tenants who continually are moving up to nicer spaces and better locations. During July and August, over 35,000 sq. feet was leased. The average base rate ranges from $2.00 to $2.30 per square foot, with tenants paying for their own janitorial. Parking remains plentiful in the valley while downtown owners are charging for onsite parking up to $120 per space per month by separate invoice. Warehouse space continues to be very scarce but continually fed by the construction of new “boat condos” principally in the valley. Until new industrial land becomes available, space for construction of new and larger warehouse spaces will be on hold.