Anchorage Businesses Slated for Demolition Get Reprieve

Government Hill Subway, Tesoro Won't have to Vacate Just Yet

POSTED: 12:21 PM AKST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 10:53 PM AKST Nov 14, 2013 
Government Hill

Two Government Hill businesses that were slated for demolition to make way for a bridge that would cross the Knik Arm are staying put, at least for now.

The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority board passed a resolution to delay the acquisition of two Tesoro and Subway.

The businesses stand in the way of an access road that would take commuters crossing the controversial proposed bridge in the direction of downtown Anchorage.

Michael Foster, chairman of Kabata, said in a meeting there is some misperception of the project.

"It was not our intention to prematurely or overly-aggressively relocate somebody,"  Foster said of the $1.4 billion project.

He proposed a resolution that would allow the businesses to stay in place until later in the construction process. "We're not the evil guy across the street trying to throw everybody out," he said, "We live in this community too."

Some tenants have already vacated the area, including the Sourdough Lodge and several homeowners. A spokesperson for KABATA said they were compensated for the move starting at about $1,100.

Stephanie Kesler, Government Hill Community Council president,  said taking action before they have secured funding to build the bridge itself is "putting the cart before the horse."

The owner of the Subway location, Steve Adams, said he is not opposed to the project, but he does not want to move for a project that is not yet funded.

Kesler doubts the project will ever happen.

She called the two businesses in question an "anchor" for the area, and she said the resolution from KABATA was "good news."

The board also established that if the project is delayed indefinitely the businesses can remain in their current location. "It adds a little certainty for them," Kesler said.