SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



By Terry Wanzer


September 30, 2006

The rule of real estate rings true especially in the reuse of a historic structure: Location-Location-Location! Commercial properties need basic criteria to qualify for purchase or sale. These include proper zoning, parking, site development, and utilities to the proposed location. If people knew the costs and effort associated with each, it would be mind boggling. I support the White Cliff renovation because each of these criteria is met.

ZONING/PARKING - to build in Ketchikan you need to obtain a zoning permit from the Borough. In order to get proper zoning the applicant must prove they have adequate parking for the business. Because Ketchikan was built in a linear fashion, on a hillside, it is sometimes impossible to find the right property. The plan done by Welsh-Whiteley Architects provides 88 parking spaces on site. Some are covered and many are ADA accessible.

SITE DEVELOPMENT - The building is wood framed with concrete, fully sprinkled with a wet and dry system, and has a solid foundation. Many components can be reused. My company just completed a project the same size as White Cliff and we were within 2% of budget. The Capital School in Juneau was designed by the same architect as White Cliff, is the same age as White Cliff, and has been retrofitted to a new use as offices next to the capital. It also was on time and on budget.

UTILITIES - The participants of White Cliff Center will benefit by sharing one building. One oil bill, one utility bill, one garbage bill, shared spaces day and night, one insurance bill, less maintenance coststhis site works!

I recently read a fine quote regarding historic structures: "HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN." I personally don't want to see metal buildings being constructed to replace our history. I am proud to be a part of our town and the process. The groups have done their homework and deserve an A. I encourage you to join me and vote YES on Proposition 1 and 2 on October 3, 2006.


Terry Wanzer
Ketchikan, AK - USA

Received September 28, 2006 - Published September 30, 2006

About: "36 Year Ketchikan Resident with an active business license since 1972, 30 years as a Real Estate Broker, Hotelier for over 30 years"

On the Web:

Proposition 1 - Sales Tax Increase: For the full text of Ordinance No. 1403 click here

Proposition 2 - Bonds: For the full text of Ordinance No. 1404 click here

White Cliff Project


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