Watch: Mixed-use development with subsidized apartments opens in Anchorage

Cook Inlet Housing Authority on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of a 33-unit apartment building in Spenard.

The mixed-use building, with apartments above three retail spaces, was to welcome its first resident Wednesday morning.

The site, at 36th Avenue and Spenard Road, used to include a strip club. The housing authority bought the property at a U.S. Marshals auction and spent three years prepping the site before beginning construction.

"We stack eight to 12 pieces of money to make a transaction like this come together," said Carol Gore, president and CEO of the housing authority. "This one was particularly difficult because, number one, we bought it at an auction. When we acquired this property, it had groundwater contamination. To get to the source of the contamination, we had to buy a gas station across the street.

"It's sort of like you buy a new couch, and then you find yourself painting the walls and buying a new carpet."

Eight of the 33 one-bedroom units will be rented at market rate, with the rest subsidized depending on the renter's income. Cook Inlet Housing Authority has already received 96 applications for apartments and expects the building to be full by the end of the year.

Loren Holmes

Loren Holmes is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News. Contact him at