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Posted: Tuesday, April 04, 2000

Goldbelt Inc. is looking to sell the 20-acre vacant lot it acquired in Kodzoff Acres several years ago, shareholders were informed at recent meetings.

Juneau's Native corporation had purchased the property in the mid-90s as part of an arrangement with Coeur Alaska Inc. to provide housing for workers from the Kensington gold mine. At the time, housing vacancy rates in Juneau were 1 percent or less.

Coeur has reconfigured the long-delayed mining project in order to lower operational costs in the face of depressed gold prices. In the meantime, while new environmental permits are pending, vacancy rates in the Juneau housing market have crept back up to 4 or 5 percent.

``We'd like to get our money out of it,'' Goldbelt CEO Gary Droubay said of the Kodzoff property, zoned multi-family. About $1.5 million has been invested in the property. The non-profit organization Housing First has expressed interest in buying it, he said.

Droubay told shareholders that Goldbelt lost $4.6 million in 1999, about two-thirds of that due to the grounding of a cruise ship. That follows a $4.5 million loss in 1998. The corporation has gone through a transition from timber-based operations to tourism.

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