Karluk Manor Neighbors Still Unhappy
Nearby company has drawn up relocation plans
The community's struggle over Karluk Manor isn't over.
CBS 11 News has learned that Mayor Dan Sullivan has been presented with a proposal to relocate the so-called 'housing first' facility for chronic inebriates.
The opening of Karluk Manor a month ago continues to be a source of great concern to its closest neighbor.
Copper River Seafoods moved in next to the former Red Roof Inn before it was designated as Karluk Manor, and attempted to buy the motel to turn it into a dormitory for workers at its nearby seafood processing plant.
The Rural Alaska Community Action Program -- Rural CAP -- bought the building instead and turned it into a wet house where homeless alcoholics are allowed to drink.
Now the seafood company says not only is its campus concept for this block stymied, but also the drunken residents of Karluk Manor have become an issue for its employees.
Copper River Seafoods lost out on the bidding for the structure that has become Karluk Manor, which otherwise would have been dormitory space for company workers and apprentices.
Company Vice President Robin Richardson says the outcome is difficult to live with.
"One, we've had a car broken into, and property stolen from a woman who works in our accounting office. We've had people who have come in here who are inebriated, who we've offered to help out, offered to provide cabs, and then they've become belligerent. We've had people sleeping in our parking lot, people who are next to our cars, that kind of thing. And we're quite concerned about the safety of our employees."
Even before it opened, Karluk Manor sparked the formation of the Fairview Business Association.
"Our concern is that it's just in the wrong location,” said Paul Fuhs, executive director of the association. “When you look at it here, two of the busiest streets in anchorage, there's no open space for people to go to there. The nearest space is the community park right next door, where at this point now people are afraid to even send their kids over there. It's right in the whole network of all the other social services, so it kind of creates a feedback loop that you never get out of."
In the past week, Mayor Dan Sullivan has received architectural drawings showing a new proposal for a city-owned location for the “housing first” project.
The proposal is to turn a building in Mountain View's industrial district into Porcupine Manor. But it's a prickly subject because Rural CAP doesn't want to talk about it.
"They kind of got tunnel-visioned on this location and this spot, so no matter what else anybody else was putting it on the table, they weren't willing to listen to it," Fuhs said.
But Richardson says Copper River would do whatever it could to make the move cost-neutral for Rural CAP.
"I believe this is a win-win, yes. Their interest was in outdoor space; their interest was in more area, I think, within the facility for social engagement and that kind of thing. More parking. A little bit off of the social network path. More room capacity."
The idea is on the table.
But only parties to one side of the issue are sitting there.
Melinda Freemon, director of the housing division for rural cap, said late Thursday afternoon that the organization talked to Copper River Seafoods at one point but now sees no need to discuss relocation, because the question of location is “settled” and “behind us now.”
Richardson says that a running dialogue with Rural CAP ended about four months ago.
Fuhs says he has asked for a meeting with Rural CAP but has gotten no response.