May 10, 2013 in City

Anchorage should see summer boom

Associated Press
 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska’s largest city is experiencing a retail surge that will be keeping construction crews busy this summer.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the Fred Meyer store in midtown Anchorage is planning to undergo a $20 million overhaul. Construction will cost about $13 million, plus about $7 million for equipment.

The project is just one piece of what city planners are describing as a boom year for commercial construction in the city.

“We’re essentially completely rebuilding the store within the walls. All the departments are going to be upgraded,” said Bob Currey-Wilson, director of real estate for the Portland-based chain.

The overhaul will include upgraded service counters, a larger food section and rough-cut stone accents on the entryways.

“It’s kind of a sophisticated approach to big box stores, over what we typically see here,” said city senior planner Sharon Ferguson, who reviewed the designs.

Fred Meyer has 132 stores in four states. The midtown Anchorage store is among the top 10 earners in the chain, Currey-Wilson said, with the Airport Way store in Fairbanks holding top honors.

Records show that by mid-April builders had applied for more than $223 million in construction projects. That’s a 30 percent increase over the same period in the previous year, city records show. It includes more than $165 million in commercial construction.

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