NEW OFFICE BUILDING RISES NEXT TO HARRIS HARBOR ON THE WATERFRONT. The Marine Exchange, a maritime version of a traffic controller for ocean going vessels in the pacific is building a 5,000 sf three story building on the north side of the Juneau Douglas Bridge. Slated for completion in June or July, the concrete and steel building will house up to 20 employees whose job it is to monitor ship movements in Pacific Waters using a sophisticated satellite tracking system. The data involving vessel movement is then sold to Corporations and to Government, including the US Coast Guard. The benefits of this service is to ensure vessel safety in pacific waters, and to allow corporations to plan voyage routes taking into account weather and tides. The site was purchased three years ago from a local investor who originally had planned to build a duplex at that location.

JUNEAU ASSEMBLY TO VOTE MAY 15 ON CHANGING THE ZONING FOR 45 ACRES AT THE AIRPORT. Known as the “field of flowers,” this request for a zoning change on this site will be voted upon by the Assembly following a two-year process of considering the change in use from Rural Reserve to Industrial. The owner/ developer had originally been successful in obtaining approval to rezone the land as Industrial when the Planning Commission denied his original application that had called for changing the zoning to both Commercial and Light Commercial and allowing uses in both of those classifications. The land, which sits across the Egan Expressway from Fred Meyer contains a large pond area that was originally excavated to provide gravel for the Fred Meyer complex. These same lands have permits already approved for them to be filled again, according to City records. In April, the Planning Commission approved the rezone from Rural Reserve to Industrial. In order for any new Industrial subdivision for the property to be considered, an affirmative vote of the Assembly itself is required.

CITY OF JUNEAU CONSIDERS OPTIONS FOR ITS LEASED OFFICE SPACE. The City and Borough of Juneau is embarking on a project to evaluate its current use of privately owned office space. Currently the Borough leases space in multiple locations, paying upwards of $700,000 per year for over 32,000 square feet of office space. In an April 17, 2017 memo to the Assembly lands committee, City manager Rorie Watt told the Committee that other options should be considered, including purchasing the Bill Ray Center, or developing offices in conjunction with the existing library/downtown parking garage. He remarked: “Over the long term, it is most economical for CBJ to own its own facilities….”due to completion of the larger dock on the north end of the waterfront…the value and convenience of the existing City Hall and rental spaces are changing.”

NEW SUBDIVISION PROMISES TO PROVIDE LOTS TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES. Pederson Hill, a subdivision of single family lots, developed by the City and Borough of Juneau is nearing completion according to Greg Chaney, the lands director. The 86 lot subdivision was created to address the shortage of available single family lots so that smaller, more affordable houses can be built here in Juneau. In order to jumpstart the subdivision, the Borough is looking for partners to capture some initial financial advantages so that the lots can be developed. The total cost of the project is $8.8 million, and once lots begin selling, much of the City’s investment from Treasury funds will be repaid first.   Construction of new homes is projected to begin in 2018.