Bergmann Hotel owners to buy Arcticorp Building

Barretts say they don't have plans to raise rent or evict tenants

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2004

The owners of the Bergmann Hotel plan to buy the downtown Arcticorp Building across the street.

James Barrett and his mother, Kathleen, are purchasing the building from Arcticorp in Anchorage, they said Wednesday.

The Barretts hope to close the deal on the building by the end of this month. They will pay $2 million to $3 million and each will own 50 percent, James Barrett said.

The 27,000-square-foot building takes up nearly a city block running along Fourth, Fifth, Harris and Gold streets. The front of the building, which faces Fourth Street, is behind the Bergmann Hotel on Third Street.

One of the tenants, the Juneau Community Charter School, recently opposed James Barrett's plans to reopen the bar at the hotel. Barrett said he holds no animosity and does not have any plans to evict the school or any other tenants. He also does not plan to raise rents, he said.

"We're neighbors too and we want to be good neighbors," Kathleen Barrett said. "We may not always agree, but we can be civil and pleasant."

The bar remains closed while it undergoes an application review by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

A longer-term goal is to attract some of the tenants in the professional building to the bar, James Barrett said. He wants to convert the bar into an upscale drinking establishment that serves drinks that cost at least $5.

Arcticorp President Joel Fuller said the company has owned the building for about 20 years and found it more difficult to manage from a long distance.

One of the tenants, engineer Ben Haight, who was maintaining and managing the building, moved out in the last month, Fuller said.

"It's nothing dramatic," Fuller said. "It's just time for us to be out of there."

Arcticorp had been contemplating the sale of the building for the past year, Fuller said. The Barretts' offer came at an opportune time, he said.

The Barretts plan to rename it The Barrett Professional Building and improve the cosmetics, they said.

James Barrett, who lives directly across the street from the building, said he wants to be a good neighbor. He plans to have the building painted and is open to suggestions from the neighborhood. The Barretts also plan to rent available office space.

• Tara Sidor can be reached at tara.sidor@juneauempire.com



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