Mat Maid's Anchorage plant brings $1.5 million

NEW LIFE: Building will be converted to heated storage units.

August 23, 2008 

WASILLA -- The historic Matanuska Maid dairy in Anchorage, which churned out milk, yogurt, and cream for more than 40 years, will be turned into a heated self-storage facility.

Matt Bobich, who with his wife, Linda, own four self-storage facilities in Anchorage, submitted the sole $1.5 million bid to the state Thursday to buy the plant. The $1.5 million was the minimum amount required by the state. Bobich has until Oct. 20 to close the deal.

Bobich said Friday he plans to renovate the two-story plant on Northern Lights Boulevard near Arctic Boulevard to create inside storage units ranging from 5-by-5 feet to 10-by-20 feet. He said he does not plan to change the outside look of the building, but might try to spruce up the landscaping and give the building a paint job. He said many people prefer inside storage for items like furniture and paintings.

The Mat Maid plant was put up for sale after the state shut it down in December because of financial difficulties.

Mat Maid started as a cooperative in the 1930s in Palmer, but was taken over by the state in the mid-1980s after the private operator went bankrupt.

Rising fuel prices coupled with high milk prices and other problems led the state to decide to shut the company down last year.

Still to be sold is the company's bottle-making facility in Palmer. The state Board of Agriculture plans to address that issue at its next meeting on Sept. 4.

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