The city of Juneau plans to acquire DeHarts Marina to expand Statter Harbor, creating a unified marine center and park at Auke Bay.
At its meeting this evening, the Docks and Harbors Board will consider whether to authorize a subcommittee to negotiate a sale with the marina's owner, Dick Deems.
Port Director John Stone said DeHarts Marina occupies a critical location in the Auke Bay area, right in the middle of city-owned land.
"This would give us a continuum of property from Auke Creek to our Statter Harbor," Stone said.
City officials said acquiring DeHarts Marina would alleviate the heavy traffic at Statter.
"Statter Harbor is used by commercial fishermen, tour operators, freight haulers and recreational boaters," said Port Engineer Mike Krieber. "Such multiple use in this small area results in harbor and parking lot gridlock, creating safety problems, economic disincentives and discontent of residents."
With the addition of DeHarts, the city would be able to separate commercial fishermen and tour operations from resident recreational users at Statter, Krieber said.
Deems asked for $3 million for the 3-acre marina but city officials' private consultant appraised the marina at a little bit more than $1.6 million. Stone said it might take both parties a few months to reach a compromised price.
Efforts to reach Deems for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Krieber said if the city acquires the marina, it would remove the existing marina and build a new one that connects to the existing floats. The city would construct a tour operator float, a two-lane launch ramp for recreational boats and an additional small boat moorage. Port officials also plan to build waterfront parks and bigger parking lots at Auke Bay.
The city hasn't decided whether to install a commercial fishing loading facility at the marina, Stone said. It would depend on whether the city can buy six-tenths of an acre near the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry terminal for the facility.
"If we have that piece of land near the ferry terminal, we can have more space at Statter for marine service support," Stone said. "People would have more space to paint the bottom of their boats or maintain their boats. There would be a lot more areas for parks and parking."
The city estimates the expansion of Statter would cost between $18 million and $20 million. Stone said he hopes that the city could receive some funding from the state Department of Fish and Game.
Stone said the construction would proceed in phases and probably would take three years.
"We won't demolish anything until we get the money," he said. "And we will give boaters at DeHarts plenty of notice so they can find another place to stay."