Must Read Alaska: Polaris building demo starts in Fairbanks

The Polaris Hotel, Fairbanks’ tallest building and biggest eyesore, is coming down at last.

It was built in 1952 with its annex constructed in 1973. Originally designed as an apartment building, it was converted into a hotel but in 2001, 800,000 gallons of water flooded the basement; it was abandoned in 2002. The City of Fairbanks foreclosed on the property over unpaid taxes.

The City of Fairbanks received a Targeted Brownfield Assessment for the main portion of the 11-story building in 2017.

The assessment found asbestos, mold, mercury and PCBs. Because of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), all material will have to be shipped out of state for disposal.

Fairbanks was awarded a $10 million earmark through the efforts of Sen. Lisa Murkowski by way of the Environmental Protection Agency and was waiting for those funds to arrive so the work could begin.

Demolition started with the annex next to the main structure and will continue to the main structure throughout the coming months.

By:  Suzanne Downing
Source: Must Read Alaska