City changes approach toward Pederson Hill construction

Lands and Resources Manager Greg Chaney presents to the CBJ Assembly on on April 10, 2017 about moving forward with the Pederson Hill subdivision. The first stage of the project is set to go out to bid by the end of August. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Prospective home builders will have to wait just a bit longer for a chance to build in Juneau’s newest subdivision.


Through working on the design process for the Pederson Hill Subdivision — which will provide 86 single-family housing units on a plot of land near Auke Lake — City and Borough of Juneau staff said it discovered a more cost-efficient and less complex way to permit the subdivision.

Instead of platting — that is, the process of recording property with the state — the land all at once, the city is going to plat property as construction goes through three stages. Lands Manager Greg Chaney said Wednesday that instead of being able to buy property as early as spring of 2018, it’s “pretty realistic” that people will be able to start buying property at Pederson Hill in the summer instead.

Doing the process like this saves the city $160,000 that it would have spent on a bond had it done the process in just one stage instead of three, Chaney said. The bond would have been an insurance policy of sorts that would guarantee that if the contractor went out of business or decided to stop in the middle of the construction, the bond company would find another contractor, Chaney explained. City staff determined that this situation is so unlikely that the bond would not be necessary, and that the savings would allow the city to spend that on future development projects.

The overall cost of the subdivision, including design work by DOWL Engineering, is estimated at $8.8 million. The first stage of the project will go out for bid this month, and Chaney hopes construction will start either in the upcoming winter or spring.

The CBJ Assembly approved the single-plat approach at its April 10 meeting, but that was before staff knew about the $160,000 bond. Chaney is presenting to the Committee of the Whole tonight, which begins at 5:30 at City Hall.

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