TOURISM RETAILERS IN JUNEAU RESPOND TO DEMAND FROM THE HIGHEST VISITOR COUNTS IN HISTORY. With the 2023 season expected to top 1.5 million visitors to the Capital City, many retailers have had to beef up their inventories in order to keep up with demand. Over the last two decades, the industry has dealt with some dramatic swings in visitor volumes. Both ups and downs. But the pattern of visitor volume as not been simply a straight line of year-on year-growth. Restauranteurs, jewelers and clothing vendors report that this season the demand for goods and services represents a welcome uptick from 2022 levels. But still, large retail vacancies exist on South Franklin Street, which signals a need for further analysis of where the visitor numbers are headed in the near term—
IN DOWNTOWN JUNEAU—ONLY THREE BANKS REMAIN IN 2023. Just a decade ago, downtown Juneau had six active commercial lender locations—two for FNBA, one each for Alaska USA, Key Bank, Wells Fargo, and Northrim. With the closure of the historic BM Behrends location for Key Bank on Seward, and the closure of the Sealaska branch for Alaska USA, the dominant providers of banking services that remain downtown are FNBA, Wells Fargo and Northrim. First Bank of Ketchikan maintains a small branch off Willoughby, and their valley location at Vintage Park. Alaska USA operates two small branches inside National chain grocery stores. The closure and sale of the Wells Fargo location on Anka Street in Lemon Creek began the trend of retiring physical locations, which is seen nationally as brick and mortar branches are resold or repurposed in virtually every state of the union. Some of these locations are sold with existing leases in effect, with nationally chartered banks paying rent to the new owners for “shuttered” locations. This is evidence of how more banking services are being provided online—even in Alaska
BICKNELL INC TO APPLY FOR A REPLAT OF THE HONSINGER TRACT AT THE JUNEAU AIRPORT. While nearly all of the commercially and industrially zoned lots have been sold, the new proposed replat of the remaining acreage at the airport will create some options for new development of that acreage. Originally zoned as industrial, a majority of the remaining lots have the potential to be used by businesses that seek to offer support services to the airport, and those who value great visibility from the Egan Expressway. Up to three sites may see development as Hotel sites, which could fill an existing need for more hotel beds in Juneau. The new acreage is expected to be available in September/ October of this year. Bicknell is represented by the Carlton Smith Company, Commercial Real Estate.
SALE OF THE TRAVELODGE AT THE AIRPORT HAS BEEN COMPLETED. Following years of various attempts to sell the Travelodge, its owners have negotiated a sale to Northern Sky Juneau, LLC of Reno, Nevada. The same investment group owns the Baranof Hotel, the Sheraton Four Points in Juneau, and 17 other properties in the West, including Fairbanks and Anchorage. According to the managing partner of the investment group, the sales price was not disclosed. However, plans are to re-open the property in 2024 under a national chain. The Carlton Smith Company has represented this investor group in the Sale of the Sheraton Four Points in Juneau, and the Best Value Inn of Fairbanks.
LARGE WATERFRONT TRACT ON SHELTER ISLAND IS SOLD. During the month of August, over 1,200 linear feet of waterfront was sold on Shelter Island. “Paradise Point,” as it is known sold recently to an investor group during the month of August, and the sales price was not disclosed. No changes in use are planned for the nearly five-acre site. The Carlton Smith Company, Commercial Real Estate represented the investor.