Inside Alaska Business
The ConocoPhillips Building’s days as Alaska’s tallest inhabited structure are numbered. A new control tower for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport will rise 4 feet taller, to more than 300 feet, twice as tall as the existing airport tower. The Federal Aviation Administration selected Stantec to provide architecture and engineering design services. The current tower was built in 1977 to accommodate only four air traffic controllers. An increase in aircraft movements since then created a need for more controllers, leading to overcrowding.
The former Sears warehouse near Midtown Anchorage has a new tenant. Amazon is setting up a sorting facility in the 88,000-square-foot building. Renovation is scheduled this spring. The warehouse has been vacant since Sears downsized in 2018, and last year it was purchased by Time Equities, Inc.
Advanced Supply Chain International
A subsidiary of Anchorage-based Advanced Supply Chain International (ASCI) won a $12.4 million contract to provide logistics service support for federal agencies, both civilian and military, in Alaska. ASCI has been providing supply chain and asset management consulting and services to commercial and government customers since 1999, but this is the company’s first federal contract. The one-year contract comes with four one-year extension options.
Enstar | Chugach Electric
For the last few years, Southcentral Alaska has burned more natural gas than is produced in Cook Inlet, drawing on stored resources. That fact has Enstar and Chugach Electric Association each hiring consultants to evaluate options for importing liquified natural gas. Enstar notified the Regulatory Commission of Alaska that the cost of the consultant might be tacked onto customer charges. |
Alaska Renewables
A startup company is proposing the largest wind farm in Alaska yet. Alaska Renewables, formed two years ago by former UAF oceanographer Andrew McDonnell and engineer Matt Perkins of Nevada, has two subsidiaries pursuing projects in Southcentral and the Interior. Little Mount Susitna Wind would install up to eighty turbines near Tyonek, generating as much as 250 MW, ten times the size of the Eva Creek wind farm near Healy, currently the largest in the state.Shovel Creek Wind filed for permission from the state for a project near Murphy Dome, 20 miles northwest of Fairbanks, for at least sixty turbines generating 200 MW.
Northline Seafoods
Sitka-based Northline Seafoods secured funding to build a mobile commercial salmon processing platform for Bristol Bay. The vessel, named Hannah, will deep freeze whole fish from catcher vessels. At the end of the season, it will haul the load to Bellingham, Washington, for storage, reprocessing, and distribution. Northline Seafoods is refitting a disused barge hull with a $40 million federal loan and $22 million from Greater Commercial Lending. Hannah replaces Northline Seafoods’ previous processing barge that grounded in a windstorm in September 2020.
Great Harvest Bread Co.
The operator of one Great Harvest Bread Co. in Fairbanks opens a second location this month. Tricia Cray has owned her current Great Harvest Bakery and Café on College Road since 2012, and the franchise is doing so well that she is expanding to a former Pizza Hut about two miles away. The new shop includes a drive-through window. The Montana-based chain has franchises nationwide but only one other location in Alaska, at the Metro Mall in Midtown Anchorage.
McGinley’s Pub
Shut down since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, McGinley’s Pub in downtown Anchorage reopens this month under a new name: Blarney Stone. One of the co-owners, Jack Lewis, says the atmosphere is even more Irish, and the space on G Street is being renovated with a new entrance. Lewis is the only co-owner remaining from the pub’s launch in 2007; others, including former mayor Dan Sullivan, left the partnership during the pandemic.