Long-empty Palmer shopping center up for sale

Zaz Hollander

PALMER -- A mostly vacant shopping center at the entrance to Palmer is on the market.

Building owner Carr Gottstein Properties is accepting offers on Pioneer Square, the former home of the Palmer Carrs grocery store.

The 92,000-square-foot center on more than 6 acres has sat largely empty since 2011, when Carrs/Safeway moved out and built a new store across the Palmer-Wasilla Highway. Several tenants lease space on one end of the mall, including the Alaska Club and GCI, but the main space where the store used to be is dark.

"It's a very visible part of the entry, one of the big gateways into the community," said Palmer city planner Sandra Garley. "From my perspective, it's exciting to see something kind of happening there because it's been vacant for so long."

Redevelopment could bring jobs and increased sales tax revenue to the city, Garley said.

Built in 1984, the center's most recent Mat-Su Borough property tax assessment came in at $522,400 for the building and more than $3.6 million for the land, according to a borough database. Property tax bills on the property from 2011 through 2013 total more than $171,000.

Carr Gottstein tried to lease the space after the grocery store moved out. Lease rates started at $1.25 a square foot, according to a Web listing. The building, however, has experienced "high vacancy" since the grocer left, according to a company statement issued Tuesday.

Several organizations have expressed serious interest in buying the property, said Bob Martin, of Ravenwood Real Estate, one of two agents marketing the property. Martin wouldn't say where the offers are coming from.

Carr Gottstein is soliciting bids through Nov. 25 to weigh selling or redeveloping the site, according to Tuesday's statement from Bob Mintz, company general manager.

Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.