A new poll reveals people over 55 and people under 35 want more housing in downtown Anchorage

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Millennials and people over the age of 55 in Anchorage have one big thing in common: both groups want to live downtown.

According to a report by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, millennials want to be close to amenities like parks and trails (67 percent), a short commute (54 percent), and they want to be close to shopping (45 percent).

Seniors — people over the age of 55 in this study — say they want to live in a condo or townhouse (44 percent), and about 30 percent of respondents from this group say downtown is where they want to live.

AEDC polled more than 1,100 people for the report.

The biggest barrier to both groups is the high cost and the lack of homes.

"There is almost no housing downtown, according to the most recent census," Moira Gallagher with AEDC said. "There are fewer than 100 year-round residents living in the actual downtown core. The original townsite, we define that as basically west of A street and between 1st and 9th (avenues)."

AEDC says downtown housing is important to deter crime. As it stands now, the group says that downtown mostly empties out at the end of a work day.

Additionally, Gallagher says downtown housing can be used to recruit new talent to local businesses.

"Not having a vibrant downtown as a livable option hurts us dramatically from a competitive perspective with other cities," Gallagher said.

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