Anchorage builder launches housing project for 250 acres

Planning process means first house may not be built for years

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage developer is planning to build houses and condominiums on more than 250 acres - a project that would among the largest residential endeavors in the city, where the demand for housing continues to grow while available land has dwindled.

According to the plan by developer Connie Yoshimura, construction would take place at two separate sites in the Potter Creek valley area at the southern edge of town.

The sites are near existing housing developments along Potter Valley Road, architect and land planner Tim Wilkes said at a Rabbit Creek Community Council meeting last week.

Wilkes crafted the Potter Creek valley's master development plan that city officials approved in 1984. The two pieces of land set for development were identified in that document, he said.

It could be years before the first house is built, Wilkes said. The project still needs to go through a planning process.

Yoshimura and a group of partners own 160 acres of the project area. They have an agreement to buy a 96-acre site from its owner, General Communication Inc., Yoshimura said.

The master plan for the project allows for construction of as many as 1,335 houses - 600 on the 96-acre site and 735 on the 160 acres, although fewer houses than that will be built, Wilkes said.

"The development of that many homes on those two sites is, for all intents and purposes, unmarketable," he said.

The project could be a mix of single-family houses, condominiums and "attached housing," such as townhomes, Wilkes said.

All of them likely will be among the most pricey addresses in Anchorage. Yoshimura said the housing will be compatible with the neighborhood's high-end houses.

Wilkes said he'll design the project to make the most of the landscape and preserve as many trees as possible. Much of it will be developed using "single-loaded" streets, where houses are built on only one side of the street, he said.

A trail system also will be part of the design, he said.

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