Lawmakers vote to move Anchorage downtown offices to Spenard
The Legislative Council — a joint committee made up of leadership in both the House and Senate — voted Monday to move the Legislature’s office from downtown Anchorage to the Spenard area.
The council approved purchase of the Wells Fargo building, located on the corner of Minnesota Drive and Benson Boulevard, for $12.5 million.
“It’s a good location, great parking. The cost is quite reasonable, in terms of purchase, but also in operating it,” said Sen. Gary Stevens, chair of the Legislative Council, referring to parts of the building that could be rented out to other agencies. “It’ll be actually less expensive for us to be in the Wells Fargo building than it would for us to be in the Atwood building downtown.”
Funding for the Wells Fargo building purchase still has to be passed by the Legislature in a budget bill, but Stevens said the deal should be sealed as soon as state experts finish assessing the soil for seismic hazards.
“We could have those answers back in a week, but it could take up to 60 days,” he said. “I think we’ll find the answers coming in very quickly.”
Once the budget makes its way to Gov. Bill Walker’s desk, Stevens said the governor will likely approve the purchase.
“His chief of staff told me that he would, that he would not veto it,” he said.
The Legislative Council offered to buy its current office space on Fourth Avenue for $32.5 million last month, before Walker said he would veto funding for it.
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