Sunday, June 26, 2016

Anchorage considers permitting mini-houses

Just thought I'd post a link to this article recently published on the ADN regarding the growing popularity of these miniature sized homes, known also as granny flats or in-law homes. Not that this is the sole demographic for which these houses are marketed towards -- can be quite the opposite, actually. With city leaders in Anchorage eager to provide more affordable housing in our already tight market, changes in the municipal code are being considered in order to streamline the permit process for building these little homes. Among the more feasible options in clearing code hurdles is to have a cluster of homes together akin to a trailer park with a separate building in the mini-community that offers guestrooms and a laundromat.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

ANMC expansion takes shape

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Just came back from Japan. Anyways, construction continues on the new towers that will house overnight patients and their families. A skybridge will connect the main hospital to the housing units and adjoining parking garage. Don't know the official completion date, but I'd say it'll probably be ready by this fall.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Loussac Library remodel underway

current view on left, finished product on right
The much detested elevated entrance to the Loussac Library has finally been reduced to rubble. Those who followed closely may know that getting rid of the flawed entrance had long been a priority among the staff at the Loussac, as well as the Muni. Built in 1986 with the rest of the library, the flawed entrance consisted of steps the went up to the second level and led to a little plaza from which you can access the main entrance. Nevermind that it's kind of strange that the main entrance was on the second floor, what really earned it the disapproval of many was the danger it posed in the winter. With the steps constantly getting smothered in ice each winter, the library later added a canopy over the middle section of the stairway. But that too wasn't enough to reduce the hazard of the stairway. From my own personal memory, I recollect an incident several years ago when a youth sliding down the rail injured himself and had to go to the hospital. Replacing the elevated entrance will be a more traditional entry in which people simply cross the road and go to a ground level entrance. A cool looking glass facade for the exterior will greet incoming customers. Meanwhile from what I understand, extensive remodeling will be carried out inside the building as well (it could sure use it).

Saturday, February 6, 2016

In The News...

map courtesy of UAF

Happy new years. Can't believe this blog will be turning 8 years old this year. Anyways, I've been busy, but I did not want to let these stories go by without some coverage as they are pretty interesting, particularly the post-quake data that just came in:

Anchorage Seismic Data Published
So apparently Anchorage had a thorough seismograph network installed about a decade ago that was finally put to use during the recent Iniskin Earthquake, or as I like to call it -- The Saturday Night Shaker. The results that came in have been surprising as they reveal dramatically different results for different parts of the city when it came to the force of the shake. For instance, check out the difference between the seismograph reading in Jewel Lake and the one right below it in Southport. Surprisingly, the Hillside felt it more than Southport. Conventional wisdom has been that Hillside is most immune to quakes. That was one reason why homeowners who owned property in Turnagain Heights (which of course slid into the inlet in 1964) were provided with plots on the Hillside. I was also surprised that Downtown and West Anchorage were not off the rails as they were the biggest disaster areas for the Anchorage Bowl following the '64 quake. Jewel Lake, Airport Heights, Midtown around Dowling and C Street, and parts of Hillside suffered worse than Downtown, which according to the map was placed around West 5th Avenue -- the heart of the townsite.

An Orchard for Government Hill
Residents of Government Hill have recently proposed building an orchard and garden on a 2 acre site that sits vacant between the neighborhood and the neighborhood's commercial strip. The site was once home to the Sourdough Inn, a long abandoned motel that was controversially demolished last year by the DOT to make way for the proposed Knik Arm Crossing. This despite the fact that financial backing for the project has not been secured yet. Some residents claimed this to be the DOT's way of trying to make the project look inevitable and discourage protest. Surprisingly, the DOT is on board with Gov Hill residents on the orchard idea. But of course this sort of land use will be easy to remove should the bridge project actually go forward, as the DOT itself has said it would be placed above the tunnel that they want to build. Whatever the case, hopefully this first of a kind project for Anchorage materializes.