The former Walmart is one possible option for the location of a new city hall for Juneau, according to a recent survey. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

The former Walmart is one possible option for the location of a new city hall for Juneau, according to a recent survey. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Juneau eyes options for new City Hall

From the former Walmart to perched atop a parking garage, there’s options, but no decisions yet.

Results from a recent survey showed that Juneau residents are widely supportive of developing a new City Hall, moving forward from the spaces the city offices currently occupy, including the 70-year-old municipal building.

More than 1,000 Juneau residents responded to the autumn survey, organized by the McKinley Group.

“Three quarters (of those surveyed) are supportive or strongly supportive of new City Hall instead of renting,” said Katie Koester, director of the City and Borough of Juneau Engineering and Public Works Department, who presented the results before the Public Works and Facilities Committee. “City Hall is not just an office building. It’s a place for interacting with your local government.”

The current arrangement involves $750,000 per year in rent, Koester said, as previously reported by the Empire. A new space, whether new-built or adapted from existing space, could consolidate offices and make dealing with the city agencies a one-stop shop.

[A tree-mendous journey: Governor’s mansion tree arrives in Juneau]

Parking and a long service life were both high priorities for the 1,316 respondents to the survey, which ranged across the entire city, according to the survey. Sustainability and green building techniques as well as high energy efficiency were also popular priorities for the city to consider, according to the results, while architectural and visual appeal, as well as having a prominent location were considered low priority by those surveyed.

“Sustainability has become one of our primary missions,” said Assembly member Wade Bryson during the meeting. “Everything we do has to have sustainability.”

Downtown and Thane residents were the most supportive of the move at 79%, according to the survey, but support was above 70% for all geographic areas. About 18% of respondents were opposed or very opposed to developing a new City Hall location.

The most frequent uses the public has for City Hall are interacting with departments and attending public meetings, according to the survey. More than half of respondents reported using Juneau’s City Hall for both, while only 16% reported not using City Hall in the last half-decade. Other common uses were for paying bills and voting.

While a replacement might not necessarily be new build, the survey turned out a several locations for a possible relocation or repurposing. The former Walmart was the most popular choice, with Downtown, Lemon Creek and the Mendenhall Valley trailing in popularity. Geographical areas in Juneau generally voted for a new City Hall to be located closest to their area of residence. Other locations to garner some support include the downtown parking garage and the Bill Ray Center, located near the Juneau Federal Building.

With the list of criteria and some possible sites in hand, Koester said, the committee’s job will be to start narrowing down options.

“We’re going to work on a matrix,” Koester said. “The matrix is informed by a lot of the needs here.”

Residents were more likely to respond the older they were, with the 65-and-older age range accounting for nearly a third of responses. The majority of respondents were Valley residents, at 48% of all answers.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maassen receives applause from his fellow justices and members of the Alaska Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy will be asked to pick fourth state Supreme Court justice

Applications being accepted to replace Peter Maassen, who reaches mandatory retirement age next year

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, June 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska ranked choice repeal measure wins first round of legal challenge, but trial awaits

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a proposed… Continue reading

Juneau resident Ajah Rose Bishop, 21, suffered severe spinal injuries in a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning. (GoFundMe fundraiser photo)
Woman breaks spine in single-vehicle collision on Egan Drive early Saturday morning

21-year-old Juneau resident medivaced to Anchorage, online fundraising effort underway.

Shannan Greene (left) and Sharyn Augustine hold signs on April 27 urging residents to sign recall petitions for Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey due to their roles in a budget crisis for the current fiscal year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
School board recall petitions submitted; supporters of Saturday cruise ship ban need more signatures

Third initiative seeking to repeal default by-mail elections also has 10 days to get more signers.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, June 9, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, June 8, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read