Anchorage mayor announces new committee to foster economic recovery

Mike Robbins serves as chair of the Anchorage Economic Revitalization and Diversification Committee. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson announced a new committee Wednesday to help guide economic recovery in the city.

Anchorage’s economy has been in recession since around 2016, coinciding with the drop in the price of oil. The city was just starting to come out of the recession when the pandemic hit. Bronson said his new Anchorage Economic Revitalization and Diversification Advisory Committee is tasked with getting the city’s economy back on track. 

“The objective here is to create a city, not to sound cliché, where our kids want to live, work and play,” Bronson said at a news conference at City Hall. “Where they want to come back after school and they want to live here, and we need to create that environment where they can do that, where they want to do that.”

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Bronson said he’s excited about several new buildings set to start construction downtown. But he didn’t provide specifics on the projects.

“There are four major downtown developments happening with private investment dollars of nearly $400 million of shovel-ready projects,” he said. “We expect to see buildings within the next 12 to 36 months.” 

The committee is made up of 12 members representing various business interests around Anchorage. They’re all volunteers. Mike Robbins, the executive director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, will serve as committee chair. Robbins also ran for mayor earlier this year against Bronson.

The committee will hold their first meeting this week and it’s expected to provide a report to the mayor’s office with recommendations by January.

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Wesley is a reporter for Alaska Public Media, covering primarily city government and Anchorage life. He previously worked at Alaska Public Media as a web editor, producer and education reporter before a two-year stint in Kotzebue, AK as News Director for KOTZ-AM.

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