Anchorage's Heritage Land Bank has begun a 30-day public comment period on a draft master plan for the former Alaska Native Service Hospital Site.

The Community Councils Center made the announcement in a news release Thursday.

The 15-acre parcel at 3rd Avenue and Ingra Street was once the site of the original Alaska Native Hospital which opened its doors in 1953. The hospital was torn down in 1992 and the land it sits on has been empty pretty much ever since.

"This site we have had in our inventory since the early 2000s and it's been vacant," said Nicole Jones-Vogel with the Heritage Land Bank. "We have a lot of management issues with it."

The property is fenced, but trespassers are an issue. Homeless people often set up camps around the perimeter. Jones-Vogel said the community is anxious to see something positive happen with the property.

Now, after months of meeting with various stakeholder groups, two options to develop the site have emerged.

Both feature mixed-use development, one with an emphasis on commercial development, the other with more residential properties. Jones-Vogel said the idea is to turn the space into a place where people want to be.

"You try to get the kind of uses where you are not just having daytime people," said Jones-Vogel. "So you have people living there, you have people shopping there early in the morning, taking their dog there, going to a concert in the evening. So we want to make sure we are getting a wide variety of uses."

The Heritage Land Bank will be accepting written comments on the plan until Wednesday March 13.

A public hearing is planned for Thursday, March 14.

Click here to review and comment on the plan. 

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