City sets price for DeHarts Marina purchase

Finance Committee agrees on $2.6 million for Auke Bay property

Posted: Thursday, May 05, 2005

Juneau officials have set a $2.6 million price in their negotiations for DeHarts Marina, an Auke Bay property they consider essential to expanding Don Statter Boat Harbor.

The city likely will take it over by July 1, Port Director John Stone said.

At its Wednesday meeting, the Assembly Finance Committee agreed on the price for Dick Deems' 3-acre marina. The Assembly is scheduled to have a public hearing on the purchase May 25.

Stone said the adjacent harbor is the busiest among Juneau's small-boat harbors.

"It allows us to expand boating potentials in Auke Bay," Stone said.

With the acquisition of the marina, the city could separate commercial fishermen and tour operators from resident recreational users. The city also plans to build waterfront parks and additional parking lots.

Stone said the Docks and Harbors Board plans to redevelop the area in five to 10 years. Conceptual renderings will be available in June.

The city would keep running the marina the way it is until it develops the plan, Stone said.

Marc Wheeler, the only Assembly member who voted against the purchase, said although the marina is a key parcel for the development of Auke Bay, he doesn't think the price is appropriate.

The sales price is about $1.2 million more than what a city-hired appraiser said the marina is worth. The appraiser didn't take into account the values of the marina's fuel-handling equipment and travel lift, Stone said.

"The board believes the justified price is $2.2 million," Stone said.

Stone said the appraisal may not be a good indicator of market value for this purchase because there are no private marina sales in Alaska for the board to compare.

"Everybody began to realize that waterfront properties are undergoing great inflation," Stone said.

Deems originally asked for $3 million, but agreed on $2.6 million.

Mayor Bruce Botelho said Stone's justification are compelling.

"It has more value to us than to everybody else," Botelho said. "We cannot afford to let this land end up in someone else's hands."

• I-Chun Che can be reached at

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