The population boom in the Mat-Su Valley continues, and the biggest jump is in the Fishhook area.

Statistics from the Alaska Department of Labor show the area saw a 41% increase in the number of people living there from 2010 to 2018.

The land on corner of the Palmer and Wasilla Fishhook roads has quickly filled up with new homes, many fourplexes and duplexes.

Colton Beemer, owner of CB Enterprises, is building a rental duplex in the neighborhood called Fishhook Junction Estates.

He also lives a few houses down.

“It’s really nice to be able to jump on your four-wheeler, your snowmachine and just leave right out your front door,” Beemer said. “So that’s really attractive to me.”

Beemer said the quick access to Hatcher Pass and Government Peak is also a big draw.

He’s not surprised to hear about the growth in the area over the past eight years.

“It’s kind of like, what’s taken so long? Really. From a builder’s standpoint, really. Because when I first started, everyone was moving out to [Knik-Goose Bay Road] and the other directions. This place has been really slow to catch on,” Beemer said.

Down the road toward Wasilla, a concrete crew was laying a foundation for a home in the up-and-coming Hart Lake Shores subdivision.

Realtor Richard Meaney with the Huntley Owen team of Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group said there are more than two dozen lots slated for new homes. He estimates the costs will range from $280,000 to $450,000.

Larry St. Claire, a supervisor for Soper’s Concrete, said he believes the proximity to Palmer and Wasilla makes these neighborhoods attractive.

He said the Mat-Su also gives people more for their money.

“I think people are coming out here because Anchorage is so expensive. You can pretty much get like twice the home out here than you can in Anchorage for less money.” St. Claire said.

The Department of Labor report shows the Gateway community saw the second largest gain, growing by 31% from 2010 to 2018.

The Knik/Fairview area saw a 30% increase of about 4,500 people, which is more than the number of people who moved to Anchorage during the same time. There are now more than 19,000 people living around KGB.

Overall, the state had a 4% growth of about 26,000 people.

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