Empire Archives is a series printed every Saturday featuring a short compilation of headline stories in the Juneau Empire from archived editions in 1984, 1994 and 2004.
This week in 1984, with offices appearing slowly in the Telephone Hill neighborhood and others nearby, residents who live around the Capitol are organizing to speak with one voice. The group, spearheaded by nine residents, plans to meet initially to see if enough support exists to create a neighborhood association that would act as an information network. Rodger Painter, one of the organizers, said the group was spurred into action by a number of recent developments including the use of Telephone Hill for construction of a new Legislative Hall and attempts by the Alaska State Hospital Association to move their office into a residence on Fifth Street. “In general, these things were very striking examples in our neighborhood of what’s happening downtown.” Painter said several houses in the area have already been converted to offices now housing groups like the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, and Kramer Chin and Mayo consultants.
Today Telephone Hill is again the central focus of residents trying to preserve homes after the city acquired the 2.5-acre site from the state and is now proposing various redevelopment options.
Original Story: “Downtown group tries to organize,” by Christopher Jarvis. 1/6/1984.
This week in 1994, Carr Gottstein Foods Co. announced they will build a $9 million supermarket in the Mendenhall Valley by the end of this year. Construction is scheduled to begin in February on the new store at the northwest corner of Glacier Highway and Riverside Drive, in the Vintage Business Park, said Mark Williams president and chief operating officer of the Anchorage-based grocery giant. Carrs plans to open the store in November, Williams said. “An awful lot of people have asked us to come to Juneau for a number of years,” Williams said. The store will employ about 150 people, most of whom will be hired locally, he said. At 62,500 square feet, the store will be larger than the Foodland supermarket downtown at 38,400 feet.
Today the former Carrs supermarket is now a Safeway, after being acquired in 1999 by the nationwide company, which in turn was purchased in 2014 by Albertsons Companies Inc. Yet another corporate merger is pending with Kroger Co., which owns Fred Meyer, that would result in the sale of 413 stores — including 14 in Alaska — to another company, although it is not known if the Juneau store would be among them.
Original Story: “Carrs picks valley site,” by James MacPherson. 1/4/1994.
This week in 2004, in a win for the building industry, the Assembly Committee of the Whole decided to indefinitely postpone a moratorium on new construction in Juneau. The committee will instead focus its efforts on completing a long-range waterfront plan. “At the end of the day that’s what you really want,” Committee Chairman Jim Powell said. Leaders of the construction industry viewed the moratorium as a setback for economic development in a town struggling to prosper from industries other than tourism. Assembly members called the moratorium “a blunt club that wasn’t necessary” and decided to move forward on the waterfront plan more expeditiously. A detailed version of the plan could be ready for Assembly review in about six weeks, Deputy City Manager Donna Pierce said.
Today the Assembly, facing a similar struggle to expand the local economy and protests about limiting downtown development, recently passed an ordinance that eliminates previous restrictions in areas mapped as landslide zones. It is also considering a variety of development proposals downtown, some of them controversial including the redevelopment of Telephone Hill and an additional cruise ship dock owned by the Huna Totem Corp.
Original Story: “City shelves building ban downtown,” by Tara Sidor. 1/6/2004.