Assembly down to two options for Hurlock property

Centennial Hall management recommendation moving forward

The future of the former Juneau Youth Services building is becoming clearer.

 

The City and Borough of Juneau Committee of the Whole decided to recommend Alaska Legacy Partners, an assisted living facility, and Gehring Nursery, for consideration to purchase the 9290 Hurlock Ave. vacancy to the Assembly during its work session meeting at Assembly Chambers on Monday.

The committee members discussed the options they had in front of them at length before making the pick with a vote of 8-1. The dissenting vote came from committee member Loren Jones. Jones mentioned he would rather demolish the building, subdivide the property and then sell the property at fair market value. The price before that option is $350,000 and the price with the subdivide option would be $380,000.

Committee member Beth Weldon said she believed that would be unfair considering the work the entities and then city has also put into the matter. Weldon favored Alaska Legacy because she felt it, with its initial proposal, was more ready to purchase.

Gehring Nursery also offered to pay for the property and also mentioned in its initial proposal it would prefer that option. Committee member Maria Gladziszewski said she would like the option of a nursery coming into town because of the need, but also felt Alaska Legacy had a better financial situation. Gladziszewski did mention Gehring may have more to offer but she did not see enough in the proposal.

“I do not think we would be doing (Gehring Nursery) a favor buy selling them the property,” she said. “Unless the city helps financially.”

City Manager Rorie Watt explained there are several ways to decide on the final candidate to win out. Two options could be a coin-flip and a sealed bid. The committee eventually decided to allow both entities to provide more information and then the Assembly could make its final decision.

The Lands and Resources Committee recommended three of a total of five applicants to the Committee during its Feb. 26 meeting. Polaris House, a mental illness and support center, was the only recommended option not moving forward in the process.

After the committee broke down all the options and made its final recommendation, committee member Jesse Kiehl felt more at ease going forward in the Assembly. He mentioned he would like to see a few key components in the two candidates’ final proposals.

“I would be interested in timeframe and any hurdles that could come up,” Kiehl said. “That would allow us to zero in on the thinking and puts us in a much better position moving forward.”

Public Works and Facilities moves Centennial Hall management to Assembly

Centennial Hall’s future management situation will be heading back to the Assembly.

The CBJ Public Works and Facilities forwarded the Centennial Hall management agreement between CBJ and Juneau Arts and Humanities Council to the Committee of the Whole during its regular meeting at City Hall on Monday. The Assembly, during its Feb. 26 work session, decided the potential agreement needed to go through a committee process before being decided on.

This agreement, if approved by the Assembly, would last for five years with possibilities of renewals thereafter. The CBJ would have oversight of operational plans, budget, the facility and governance, and daily operations would be handled by the JAHC.

Craig Dahl, executive director of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, said he was highly in favor of the an agreement between the CBJ and JAHC for use of Centennial Hall.

“I have been personally involved with (Centennial Hall) for 40 years and more than 60 events,” he said. “I have written letters urging to make a change. I think it is time to make managerial changes.”

Committee member Loren Jones said the Committee of the Whole will need to look into emails that were received from the public. Jones said a majority of the emails were in favor of the agreement, so long as the flexibility of the Hall and making sure events with with higher priority are considered for use of the facility first.

“We will have to make sure all of these emails are considered by (the Assembly),” Jones said.


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


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