Alaska Native
The Real Results of Real Estate
Local facilities and diverse business lines generate revenue for Alaska Native corporations
By Samantha Davenport
Samantha Davenport

he Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act granted Alaska Native corporations two significant assets: cash (in compensation for land lost) and land. With those assets, the Alaska Native regional, village, and urban corporations were tasked to provide for their shareholders—how they did so was left up to them. While the money was an immediate necessity, the majority of Alaska Native corporations have found enduring success through leveraging their lands, and for some that’s taken the form of real estate investment or services.

Alaska Native corporations have invested in a wide range of real estate-related lines of business—from tourism infrastructure and retail centers to real estate investment and management. Below is compiled, by region, a sampling of the many ways that Alaska Native corporations have invested to the benefit of their shareholders and their regions.

Kodiak and Southeast

Koniag Inc., a regional corporation headquartered in Kodiak, represents Alaska Natives living from the Sturgeon River Basin in southwest Kodiak Island to the northern peninsulas of Afognak Island. The Native corporation has operations in a number of business sectors, two of which are real estate services and tourism.

Koniag’s subsidiaries include the Kodiak Brown Bear Center and Karluk River Cabins. The Kodiak Brown Bear Center is located on Karluk Lake in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, and the cabins sit along the Karluk River.

Koniag subsidiary Nunat Holdings oversees the corporation’s real estate portfolio.

“Our holdings are growing, with a risk mitigation strategy that emphasizes portfolio diversification,” the company says. “Our real estate investments are located across the country, but primarily in the west with properties in Alaska, Washington, California, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada.”

Near Kodiak, village corporation Afognak (which owns and manages 248,000 acres of land in the Kodiak Archipelago) owns and operates the Afognak Center, a waterfront meeting and convention venue on Near Island. The 3,300-square-foot facility hosts conventions, meetings, receptions, and special occasion events, providing panoramic views of Barometer Mountain and the Saint Paul and Saint Herman Harbors.

In Southeast, Cape Fox Corporation represents the Tlingit Alaska Natives from the village of Saxman. For the first three decades the corporation was in operation, revenue was generated from timber harvesting. But as the timber industry declined, Cape Fox adapted to create new revenue streams.

“We changed our business focus to hospitality and tourism, real estate, and federal contracting. [Cape Fox Corporation] now has several successful, thriving commercial businesses and a growing federal contracting group,” according to the company.

For example, Cape Fox Corporation’s Ketchikan Title Agency has been in business in Southeast Alaska for more than forty years offering title insurance and property analysis, as well as full-service escrow closings and courtesy signings.

The village corporation also owns the seventy-two-room Cape Fox Lodge in Ketchikan. The hotel has been in operation for thirty years and is one of Cape Fox Corporation’s largest commercial group subsidiaries. It features the Heen Kahidi Restaurant, Sweet Mermaids café, and Raven’s Brew Coffee. Cape Fox Corporation opened the Bar Harbor Ale House in March in Ketchikan.

Cape Fox Corporation also owns and operates the George Inlet Cannery. The cannery opened more than a century ago in 1913 and continued operations until 1958, sustaining the Ketchikan community during its lifetime. With the help of Allen Marine Tours, the corporation offers tours of the cannery during peak-tourist season.

Cape Fox Corporation isn’t the only Native corporation to invest in canneries, though others generally invest for more traditional cannery-related activities. Chugach Alaska Corporation—a regional corporation that represents Aleut, Eskimo, and Indian shareholders in the communities of Cordova, Seward, Valdez, Port Graham, Chenega, English Bay, and Tatitlek—purchased the Orca and Morpac Canneries in 1978 and formed Chugach Alaska Fisheries. Eleven years later in 1989, Chugach Alaska Corporation also purchased Uganik Cannery on Kodiak Island.


Chugach Alaska Corporation’s largest revenue streams come from federal government contracting and oil and gas services, but real estate provides diversity for the corporation. Its portfolio features BlackSand Capital Fund I—a real estate fund based in Hawaii—and Records Warehouse, a rental storage facility in Anchorage. The corporation is also a minority partner in Class A office buildings at the JL Tower in Anchorage, as well as at the Centerpoint West office building in Anchorage.

“Chugach’s real estate portfolio includes investments in funds or companies that own and manage land or buildings for profit,” according to the company. “We target real estate investment opportunities that offer stable, growing returns and consistent cash flow.”

In Anchorage, Cook Inlet Region, Inc.’s (CIRI’s) portfolio features businesses in energy and infrastructure, oil field services, government services, private equity and venture funds, technology services, investment securities, land and natural resources, and real estate.

“Commercial real estate is a core strength of CIRI’s business portfolio,” the company says. “CIRI owns, manages, and invests in significant commercial and residential real estate developments in Alaska, Arizona, California, Texas, and Hawaii.”

CIRI Land Development Company manages the corporation’s real estate holdings, one of which is Tikahtnu Commons, a 900,000-square-foot real estate project in Anchorage developed in partnership with Browman Development Co. in 2007. The entertainment and retail center features restaurants, movie theatres, and dozens of other storefronts. More than ten years after Tikahtnu Commons was built, it continues to grow, both in stores and popularity. Popular chain restaurant Raising Cane’s opened its first Alaska location at the retail center in 2019.

CIRI owns the Fireweed Business Center in Anchorage, an eight-story, 110,000-square-foot building with a first-floor conference room that can fit more than 100 guests. In addition, the space has a third-floor deck for socializing and entertaining, as well as dynamic windows that automatically tint to reduce glare and increase energy efficiency.

CIRI is also developing a 22-acre office and retail site at 11000 C Street in South Anchorage. Phase one of the project has been completed, which features five buildings—one of which is a 40,000-square-foot office building that houses Doyon and many of its businesses.

“[Phase two] will include the remaining 9 acres, which is located on the north end of the development. This space is ideally situated for a variety of commercial or light industrial uses, as it is near to the O’Malley Road and C Street transportation corridors,” according to CIRI.

Eklutna, Inc. is an urban corporation and the largest private landowner in Anchorage, managing 90,000 acres within the municipality, including Eagle River, Birchwood, Chugiak, Peters Creek, and Eklutna. Established in 2013, wholly-owned subsidiary Eklutna Real Estate Services provides real estate services to third-party clients, including property management, maintenance, and repairs; budgeting, accounting, and reporting; marketing and leasing; property tax appeal services; real estate consulting; vendor contract and lease administration; and fire, life, and safety administration.

Eklutna owns the Arctic Office Building, the Office Depot building on 5th Avenue, and the FBI Annex in Anchorage and Artillery Park (which houses two Eklutna subsidiaries as well as Odd Man Rush Brewing, Pacific Rim Athletes, and Groomingdales K9 Design) and the Birchwood Industrial park in Eagle River, among other properties.

Out West and Up North

West of Southcentral, Calista Corporation is the regional corporation for the Calista Region, featuring fifty-six villages along the Bering Sea Coast and the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. Calista has more than thirty subsidiary companies, three of which are in real estate.

Aulukista specializes in retail, industrial, and commercial real estate for properties in Alabama, Oregon, and Washington. Calista Real Estate works specifically in single family housing, retail, industrial, and commercial real estate in Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. It owns the STG building in Anchorage, which acts as a steel and concrete office. It also owns the Nome Tent, a 7,000-square-foot dome in Nome. Its third real estate subsidiary, Tunista, works with commercial real estate properties in both Arizona and Alaska. Tunista subsidiary Yungcarvik owns the building that houses the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, as well as the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development in Bethel.

In the Bering Sea region, Tanadgusix Corporation (TDX) is the village corporation for the village of St. Paul on St. Paul Island. According to the company, “For thousands of years, Alaska’s Aleut people have cherished a tradition of welcoming visitors and providing them with a home away from home. We bring this ancient belief in hospitality to our customer-service businesses.”

The TDX Hospitality Group owns and operates hotels, restaurants, and parking facilities in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, including the Coast International Inn on Lake Hood and Alaska Park, a valet parking service, at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It also owns the Paramount Hotel, located in downtown Seattle.

In the Bristol Bay region, Choggiung is the largest village corporation, with operations in fire protection services, gravel and rock sales, land leasing, government contracting, restaurant and hotel operations, and commercial and residential leasing. Wholly-owned subsidiary Choggiung Investment Company provides commercial leases, operates eight residential apartment buildings, and rents storage space. The company also provides administrative support and maintenance services to its subsidiary, Quvaq, which does business as the Bristol Inn and Bayside Diner.

In Dillingham, Choggiung Investment Company holds titles to several commercial buildings, in which it leases space to federal and state agencies, as well as local entities. Its residential properties are also in Dillingham. The company’s storage facilities offer outdoor storage for 20-foot or 40-foot containers and vehicles, boats, or trailers at a storage yard located off Kanakanak Highway, as well as indoor boat storage.

Moving north, Doyon, Limited’s family of companies includes businesses in oil and gas, government contracting, natural resources development, and tourism. In terms of real estate, Doyon owns Kantishna Roadhouse, a full-service lodge in Denali National Park. In addition, the regional corporation also operates Kantishna Wilderness Trails, which services tourists in and out of Denali National Park via bus.

“Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture is the authorized concessioner for the various tours, activities, and other services offered within Denali National Park and Preserve,” the company says.

Sitnasuak Native Corporation (SNC) is the village corporation for Nome; its wholly-owned subsidiary Nanuaq Development owns and operates residential and commercial real estate, including apartment units in Nome and the Nome Anvil City Station, Nome Sitnasuak downtown office building, Nome Sitnasuak heavy equipment and mechanic shop, and storage and parking facilities.

Even further north, there are eight villages represented by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC): Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Utqiaġvik, Nuiqsut, Anaktuvuk Pass, and Kaktovik.

Today ASRC is known for its role in the oil and gas industry, and is the state’s largest Alaskan-owned company if ranked by revenue. But two of its first business ventures—still operating today—are real estate-related: Eskimos Inc. is a fuel and automotive parts distributor that operates a power sports retail store in Utqiaġvik and Tundra Tours owns and operates the Top of the World Hotel in addition to providing tours. According to the company, “ASRC’s goal in creating these businesses was to provide jobs and services to shareholders.”

This goal is shared among all the Alaska Native corporations that continue to invest abroad and in their own communities to build and operate the real estate that best serves their shareholders and descendants.