City approves funds for downtown waterfront project

Money will go to help conceptualize development between Marine Park and Taku Smokeries Dock

In this August 2015 photo, visitors line up to view Juneau’s downtown harbor. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The Archipelago Property Development, a waterfront project, will move forward in its projected plan for Archipelago Lot, a 1.3-acre property located between Marine Park and the Taku Smokeries Dock.

 

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted 7-to-1 in favor of transferring funds of $200,000 from the Dock’s licenses/fees revenue to the project during its regular meeting on Monday.

The funds will be used to develop a preliminary design from plan concepts, according to the agenda item.

“This will let us look more closely (at the project),” Kirby Day, Chair of Juneau Economic Development Council Visitor Products Cluster Group, said.

The motion passed after discussions concerning the use of money going toward plans and not necessarily the actual project itself. Ultimately, those who questioned the ordinance, other than Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski, voted in favor of it.

Gladziszewski had expressed concerns about getting in too deep with a project and not being to back out if the CBJ so chose.

“Once we get started,” she said, “I don’t know if we will be able to get out.”

Assembly member Norton Gregory added his enthusiasm about the project.

“Before the meeting tonight, I walked down to the vacant lot and I got quite excited about the project,” Gregory said. “It will enhance downtown.”

Mayor Ken Koelsch also favored the ordinance.

“I value the waterfront,” Koelsch said. “Hopefully this helps and will make it even better.”

Mining Subcommittee to meet March 12

Gladziszewski said the Mining Subcommittee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 12 to discuss changes to the current CBJ mining ordinances, if any.

Currently, the mining ordinances has taken on only minor changes made to the ordinance by City Attorney Amy Mead, but there is a group of businessmen, led by Jim Clark, who would like to see some changes, most notably removing the socioeconomic study requirement. The committee held a public forum March 1 where approximately 30 people spoke in favor of the ordinance the way it is or if they believed changes needed to be made.


• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at gphilson@juneauempire.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.


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