Assembly will be asked to purchase former Public Safety building

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - CBJ Manager Rorie Watt will pitch a proposal to the Assembly Monday night that calls for purchasing the former Public Safety building on Whittier Street.

    Watt was a guest on Action Line Friday.  "I am going to recommend that we purchase the property from the Mental Health Trust."  He said that he needs a motion since it would be above fair market value.

    The fair market value is $488,000, but Watt says the Mental Health Trust wants the city to appraise it as if the building is gone.  In that case the appraisal comes in at $520,000 for the land.  So he said the land by itself is more valuable than with the building on it.

    Watt's proposal includes removing the building.  He said its just a matter of how quickly.  Watt said the mental super structure has some value.  "To get a low demolition price, the best way to do that is give contractors time to figure out who can reutilize that steel."

    Watt will tell the Assembly that the proposed purchase would be a good move for several reasons including additional parking and the  development of an arts and convention campus in the area.

    The building was used as a warming center for the homeless population over the last winter and it could be used for that purpose again prior to being torn down, according to Watt.

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