Sullivan Announces Redevelopment of Ship Creek, Calls for Public Input

Photo from the Municipality of Anchorage.
Photo from the Municipality of Anchorage.

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is announcing a major redevelopment of Ship Creek. The public will have several opportunities to weigh in on what it should look like this week.

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When Mayor Dan Sullivan first came into office in 2009, he set his sights on the development of Ship Creek.

“When I first came into office one of my top priorities for economic development was to take another look at Ship Creek, which is basically an undeveloped area along the Pacific Ocean,” Sullivan said. “And in very few cities in America do you find that kind of potential for a city that’s a hundred years old.”

Photo from the Municipality of Anchorage.
Photo from the Municipality of Anchorage.

Ship Creek is a waterfront area just north of Downtown, near port and the railroad. The creek itself is a site of combat fishing in summer. The Municipality recently received a $4 million legislative grant for Ship Creek improvements. The Sullivan administration used about $600,000 of the money to develop a new master plan. The last master plan was done more than 20 years ago, in 1991. The architecture firm of KlingStubbons has been selected to create the master plan. Michael Stevenson is with the firm. He says they haven’t started designing yet, and they are in Anchorage this week to hear from the public.

“We could see a very dynamic, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly environment in Ship Creek. The specific uses – we’ll be doing market studies to give us guidance us about what makes the most sense to go there. And tourism is a big part of Alaska, a big part of Anchorage. We’d like to see how that area could help make Anchorage more of a tourist destination and point of arrival, even more so than it presently is,” Stevenson said.

Photo from the Municipality of Anchorage.
Photo from the Municipality of Anchorage.

Stevenson says, ship creek could become a transit hub as well as provide a place for a downtown lunch break. His firm also envisions an iconic, signature element in the redesign, akin to what the Space needle signifies for Seattle or the Opera Centre in Sydney, Australia.

The community will have three opportunities this week to weigh in on the master plan.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.