Murkowski Introduces Anchorage Land Transfer Bill to Boost Economic Development

Mayor Sullivan Thanks Senator for Her Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today introduced legislation to transfer permanent title of three parcels of federal land located in downtown Anchorage to the Municipality.

The 2.7 acres in downtown Anchorage had been given to the city – which has always been surrounded by federal lands – by the federal government between 1922 and 1982. The parcels were initially transferred to Anchorage to ensure that the local government had sufficient land resources to provide services for the growing community.  The lands involved include a surface parking lot, a vacant quarter acre lot and the William A. Egan Convention Center.

Egan Center, Anchorage

Egan Civic & Convention Center in Downtown Anchorage

“In all of these cases, the best use of these lands would be to sell them for revenues that the city could use to provide services to Anchorage residents,” Senator Lisa Murkowski said. “Reverting ownership of these lands back to the federal government would result in greater management costs to the federal treasury than would be recovered through fair-market sales.”

By placing these properties into Municipality of Anchorage ownership, it allows the municipality more flexibility for possible future private development.  However, the original federal transfers included a clause prohibiting the municipality from selling the properties. Murkowski’s legislation (S. 3633) would waive that federal reversionary clause, allowing the city to divest itself of the properties without adding to the federal government’s financial liability.

“I want to personally thank Senator Murkowski for her efforts with this legislation,” said Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan.  “Having direct control of these properties will allow for greater economic development within Anchorage.” 

The city has agreed to pay all costs associated with surveying, recording and transferring the properties in order to remove the federal reversionary clause.

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