City, Goldbelt to negotiate tramway’s appraised value

About $200,000 annually will be at stake when negotiating teams from the city and Goldbelt Incorporated meet at a subcommittee meeting within a week to settle the dispute over the Mount Roberts Tramway property value.

The sides have been at odds for the last two years over how much the land occupied by the tramway is worth.

Goldbelt, the tramway’s owner and operator, had the land appraised by an Anchorage-based firm and believes the unimproved land’s value to be about $1.3 million, and the city contracted an appraisal by Horan and Company of Sitka, which valued the property at $3.3 million, Port Director Carl Uchytil said.

A lease agreement for the property calls for an annual rent that is 10 percent of the appraised unimproved land value, Uchytil said.

So the annual rent would be $130,000 if the Goldbelt appraisal was accepted, and it would be $330,000 if the CBJ appraisal was deemed accurate.

The decision to form a subcommittee to negotiate on the final appraisal value was made at a Docks and Harbors regular board meeting last week.

“This has been going on two years, so we’re certainly hoping to get it wrapped up by the end of the year,” Uchytil said.

The value of any improvements to the land — including everything from the pavement to the tram itself — is not a factor in the appraisals, but the air space above the property allowing for the tram to ascend the mountain is.

For tax purposes during the past two years, the site was valued at $2.4 million, and the building was valued at $1.5 million.

Goldbelt representatives did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

• Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at matthew.woolbright@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reportermatt.

 

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