Residents clean up property in Anchorage’s east downtown

November 2, 2017 by  

In hopes of bringing development to the area, east downtown Anchorage property owners have been working to improve the neighborhood by fixing up businesses, log cabins, and run-down houses.

The clean-up garnered more notice recently, when volunteers, who got permission from the city, donned yellow vests and cleaned up the site of the Alaska Native Medical Center, which is now abandoned. The volunteers had to cover 15 acres, and came away with bags loaded with trash.

Jim Renkert lives in the area, and is one of the members of an informal group of business owners and property owners calling themselves the East Downtown Action Group. According to Renkert, the group believes in the future of the east downtown area. More recently, a second group has appeared, focusing its attention solely on improving several blocks on East Third Avenue.

Members of these groups feel that locating a number of hospitals, correctional facilities, and agencies that provide social services in one area has led to a decline in the neighborhood, particularly when large facilities close. The groups are working to show the depth of interest that exists in revitalizing the area.

Local officials are paying attention and one, Chris Constant, an assemblyman, would like to see an urban farm created in east downtown.

Organizers of this type of effort could work with a flyer printing company on a handout for neighbors, explaining the project.