Sunday, June 15, 2014

Low-rise for 36th Avenue (maybe)

Summer has returned (as have I), which means that another construction season is upon us. While this will not be a truly awesome summer like that of 2008 when Midtown saw the simultaneous construction of two 14-story towers, or the even more awesome summer of 1983 which saw two 20+ story towers go up in Downtown, this summer at least looks to be better than some of our more recent ones. It may not be much, but for what it's worth, CIRI is building a new eight story low-rise on the former site of the Fireweed Theater (newsflash to my outside readers: the Fireweed Theater was demolished) on the corner of Fireweed and New Seward. On the opposite boundary of Midtown there is currently a four story office building going up just south of the newish Anchorage Neighborhood Clinic on C Street. Now it appears that Pfeffer Development, which built two one-story buildings along 36th Avenue (you know, the ones housing Pita Pit, and ACS, among other things), may be getting ready to wedge in a five story low-rise between them. I cannot say for sure that this will be built for it may depend on whether Pfeffer can secure tenants, but from what I've gathered, the building will be called the AIDEA Building. A quick googling shows that AIDEA stands for Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. So there ya go.

Architecturally, the building looks good. It kinda reminds me of 188 WNL, which of course is a good thing. Now if only it had ground floor retail like 188, but you probably knew I was going to moan about that! The good thing is the building is proposed to line up against 36th Avenue with only a strip of landscaping separating the building from the sidewalk. This would run consistent with Pfeffer's other buildings on 36th which also come close to the sidewalk. In its immediate vicinity, this will be the "tallest" building as the nearby Tatitlek Corp. building and Denali Alaskan headquarters are each four stories. Again, just because these renderings are floating around does not mean it will be built. Keep in mind that Pfeffer was behind the Augustine Energy Center, a proposed 21 story tower for Downtown that was to be the tallest building in the city but ended up falling through. Six years later, a parking lot continues to sit where the tower was supposed to be. Let's hope its 5-story kid bro pulls through.

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