Auke Bay is changing, and with it, so will DeHarts Auke Bay Store.
The convenience store and bait shop — a staple for boaters and residents out the road — is up for sale for $2,675,000. Current owner Dan Hickok told the Empire that he’s not in a hurry to sell the place, but the business has suffered recently due to road construction in the area.
“With the struggle of the past five years I just put it on the market kind of deal, with no desperation whatsoever. It’s been struggling the past five years but there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Hickok said.
Major road reconstruction from Fritz Cove Road to Seaview Avenue has slowed traffic in the area in recent years. Last summer, vehicles sometimes had to wait 10 or 15 minutes to share one-lane access on Glacier Highway. The building of a roundabout next to DeHarts before that also limited access to the store.
All the construction has hurt business, Hickok said, by about 20 percent. The store depends on drop in customers — the fisherman who needs a bait or tackle before departing from nearby Auke Bay, the customer who needs to gas up before heading out the road.
Hickok said dealing with construction have been tough.
“We almost threw up our arms and said enough already,” he said.
If somebody doesn’t buy the store, at least he’s past the trial and error of dealing with road construction immediately next to the building, he said.
Auke Bay is in the middle of a major redesign aimed to accommodate growth in recreation, commerce, housing and marine transportation in the area. After months of public planning, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly adopted the Auke Bay Area Plan in 2015.
Parts of the plan have already been put in place, like the expanded parking at Don D. Statter Memorial Harbor, the roundabout and redone portions of Glacier Highway.
Caldwell Banker’s Errol Champion, the realtor representing the sale of DeHarts, said the property is attractive because of its location.
“If you forgot that quart of milk or that six pack of beer, DeHarts is where you’re going to get it,” Champion said.
DeHarts was built in the 1950s by Jim and Jane DeHart. Hickok has owned the store for 11 years.
• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinGullufsen.