Anchorage, AK – Today, Mayor David Bronson issued the following statement:
“Today, I submitted to the Anchorage Assembly a letter sent to me from the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) regarding the Golden Lion Hotel and future property needed for its Seward Highway & 36th Avenue Intersection project as part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. A project that was scored by DOT&PF planning staff in 2018 and was the highest scoring project on Alaska's National Highway System due to safety concerns. The letter states that this is one of the busiest and highest crash rate intersections in the Municipality of Anchorage, bicyclists and pedestrians report that it is difficult to cross the highway, and users report a general lack of east-west connectivity in the area. The Anchorage Assembly has brought up these same issues in other parts of town in dealing with bicyclists and pedestrians with traffic. The letter from DOT&PF states that planned improvements include grade separations, highway ramps, non-motorized facilities, and new frontage roads connecting Tudor Road to 36th Avenue.
The DOT&PF letter goes on to state that all project alternatives being evaluated show an impact to the Golden Lion Hotel property, which means there is a “high likelihood" that the result will be a total take of the property. DOT&PF also stated that they have communicated to the Municipality of Anchorage's previous administration (Acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson), that the parking area adjacent to the highway was permitted to the previous owner of the Golden Lion and that permit was non-transferrable and was in fact terminated when the property was acquired by the Municipality of Anchorage. DOT&PF says it will not be issuing any future permits for those parking spaces as that property will be required for the Seward Highway & 36th Avenue project.
As I have stated previously, I am committed to achieve the community's Anchored Home goals to reach functional zero using a housing first approach. Achieving this goal will require collaborative action across the community including service providers, non-profits, religious organizations, businesses, philanthropy, the public and the municipality. I am committed to work to solve homelessness which includes good faith efforts to set up effective substance misuse treatment. After consultation from the Department of Law based off of this new information from the DOT&PF to eventually take the Golden Lion Hotel property, it does not make sense to set up a treatment facility in a location that will be taken away. As part of due diligence, my administration is supporting the opening of treatment centers with Providence and Salvation Army in the near future and evaluating other locations and possible options to address substance misuse treatment and current community needs."
DOT&PF letters to Mayor Bronson (2022) and to the Acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson Administration (December 2020) are attached.
Corey Allen Young, Communications Director, Mayor's Office,
DOT&PF letters to Mayor Bronson (2022)
DOT&PF letters to the Acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson Administration (December 2020)