'Anchorage died in 1986': Halcro urges new growth for downtown
The head of Anchorage's Community Development Authority wants to revitalize Alaska's largest city.
"There is a reason why when Alaskans travel outside to other communities that they see all these cranes in the skyline," said Andrew Halcro, the executive director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority. "These cranes are there because that community has incentivized building, whether it's downtown or in midtown or in south."
Halcro spoke at the Visit Anchorage luncheon Thursday. He said Anchorage's local tax base is too small and the municipality needs to use different tax bases and tax tools to encourage development.
"There's no question. The leadership is here in this city," Halcro said. "The challenge is the tax capacity and that's something that only the state and their economic development agencies can help local communities with."
There are three development projects that have been discussed for downtown.
"Of course you've got Fourth Avenue, that whole block where the Fourth Avenue Theatre is, that's been talked about," Halcro said. "Then you have block 102 which abuts the park strip. You have two fabulous opportunities not to mention the third one would certainly be tearing down the JCPenney garage and building a $50-$60 million development there."
Halcro said Anchorage hasn't seen any massive state investments since the mid 1980s. He said it was during that time when the New Seward Highway was built, the Egan Center, Sullivan Arena and Minnesota Drive. He said there is no local tax base that can fill the gap vacated by the state.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.
MORE NEWS FROM KTVA: