Grubstake to close Ingra Street site after owner's conviction
After being convicted of spreading pesticides on municipal land near his business, an Anchorage man says he plans to rapidly close a site near Bean’s Cafe and the Brother Francis Shelter which has caused ongoing confrontations between him and the local homeless community.
Grubstake Auction Co. staff said in a Thursday statement that owner Ron Alleva plans to shut down the company’s lot at 235 Ingra St., just west of Bean’s and Brother Francis. The decision comes two days after a local jury found Alleva and Grubstake guilty of offenses including reckless endangerment in the spreading of Zappit, a chlorine-based pool cleaner, along a Karluk Street sidewalk last June.
On Thursday, Grubstake cited unspecified death threats and safety concerns as the causes of the closure. A call to Grubstake seeking comment from Alleva wasn’t immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
“Alleva stated recent and ongoing incidents of assaults, thefts and [threats] against himself, his family, staff, clients and customers make their present location no longer safe and viable to carry on business,” Grubstake staff wrote.
As a result of the threats, Grubstake has posted security guards at the Ingra Street lot, and plans to liquidate inventory there belonging to both the company and its clients.
“Grubstake plans for complete liquidation which will start immediately with an ongoing industrial yard sale (7 days a week/9-5) and Grubstake will continue with live and online auctions until all remaining inventory is sold and lot is vacated,” Grubstake staff wrote.
The Anchorage Daily News reported in September that the municipality had paid Alleva $750,000 to purchase two lots in the area, with plans to also acquire the Ingra Street lot as Alleva hoped to move his auction business online. Municipal officials weren’t immediately available Thursday to discuss whether those plans were still in effect following the Grubstake conviction.
In the wake of the June pesticide incident, a request by Bean’s and Brother Francis staff for a long-term restraining order against Alleva — along with his response — offered a closer look at their mutual grievances. The request was initially denied by Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi.
The groups’ directors claimed that Alleva “confronted them in a threatening and intimidating matter” after a meeting last year at which he claimed to be armed. For his part, Alleva claimed he had seen crimes committed by homeless people drawn to the area, including two rapes he witnessed and being punched in his right eye by “a client of the plaintiffs.”
Alleva ran for an Anchorage Assembly seat in Midtown this year, losing in the three-way race along with Christine Hill to Meg Zaletel. He told KTVA that homelessness is caused by “long term enabling” in answers to a March questionnaire, urging that the municipality no longer fund Housing First projects for the homeless.
Janis Harper contributed information to this story.
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