Developer wants fee refunds for vacant building

Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FAIRBANKS - A developer who wants to fix up the vacant Polaris building is asking the Fairbanks City Council to consider refunding the $142,000 in plan review and building permit fees he expects to pay.

Anchorage developer Marc Marlow on Monday updated council members on his plans to redevelop the 11-story former hotel into a mixed commercial and residential structure - nine floors of apartments, street-level commercial space and a restaurant on the top.

Marlow was involved in restoring and reopening Anchorage's McKay Building. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported he wants to start work on the Fairbanks project this year.

Marlow estimated it will cost $19 million. He has been seeking waivers and tax credits from numerous government agencies.

The council will review and vote on Marlow's proposal at a later meeting.

His plans for the 100,000 square-foot building include 117 apartments of varying sizes with rents of up to $1,050 a month.

"This project is like pushing water uphill," Marlow said at one point, but noted he remains optimistic.

In an interview with the newspaper after the meeting, Marlow said if the deteriorating building isn't rehabilitated, Fairbanks taxpayers could end up paying an estimated $4 million to have it torn down.

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