Assembly considers city purchase of former LIO
It's been vacant for nearly two years; now, a city corporation is looking into buying the state's former legislative information office in Downtown Anchorage.
A resolution on the topic is slated for introduction at Tuesday's assembly meeting.
The 4th Avenue building was once the source of political heartburn for the state legislature. It was custom-built for lawmakers, but leasing the property carried an expensive price tag at a time when the state faced big cuts to public services and Permanent Fund dividends.
Now, the Anchorage Community Development Authority (ACDA) says if it buys the building, it wouldn't cost taxpayers anything because the organization can leverage equity from other properties to make the $14 million purchase. What's more -- ACDA would pay municipal property taxes, so the city might actually make money.
The organization calls it a win-win scenario that would help clean up Downtown.
"Any time you see vacancy, it's going to start up-ticking crime, graffiti -- it's going to make tourists kind of uneasy about walking to boarded up places. We don't want that, especially in Downtown Anchorage," said Melinda Gant, a spokesperson for ACDA.
Gant says ACDA is currently seeking tenants for the building.
"Anchorage has a lot of government agencies in Downtown Anchorage, I mean, that would definitely be an obvious sector," Gant said. "It could be a regular business, and they could rent out several floors."
ACDA has already ruled out one type of tenant, according to Gant.
"We're definitely not interested in a bar. I've been asked that question before. We're not interested in that. It could have [a] restaurant on the first floor," Gant said.
The Anchorage Assembly has scheduled a work session on the potential purchase on June 6.
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