KANA discusses rebuilding former AC General Store as community marketplace

The former AC general store building in Kodiak may be torn down to make room for an expansive and modern marketplace by a health and social services nonprofit which bought the building in 2014.

Kodiak Area Native Association’s acting CEO Mike Pfeffer briefed the Kodiak City Council on the nonprofit’s plans during a Tuesday work session.

“It’ll be a mixed use retail and administrative support space. KANA will occupy the upstairs space with our economic development and our job creation programs that are over at Community Services on Near Island and some of our other programs that are scattered around our other buildings, and we’ll continue to use some of the space for warehousing shipping and receiving which is what the facility has largely been used for the last few years,” Pfeffer said.

According to Pfeffer, the new building will be built in the same 40,000 square foot area of the original, but with a second floor which will contain office space for the nonprofit that provides health and other services in the community.

“Hopefully we’ll have a much newer and nicer looking building on the downtown horizon. So we’re looking to support local economic development opportunities, job creation and meeting space for the community,” Pfeffer said.

The building was built in 1965 according to property records, a year after the Good Friday earthquake’s tsunami levelled much of the downtown. It was operated as O. Kraft and Son, and sold just about anything someone could want on the last frontier: groceries, furniture, guns and everything in between.

In the early 90s, Alaska Commercial Co. purchased the property and did much of the same thing with it, offering general goods. They also bought several other properties in Kodiak- including other grocery stores downtown. Alaska Commercial Co. closed the grocery store in 2014, and since then it hasn’t seen much commercial use. Occasionally it has hosted Arctic Care clinics, and also acted as a warehouse for KANA, with the interior stripped of anything that would indicate that it once hosted a general store.

Ron Acarregui used to be general manager of the AC grocery store, as well as their other businesses in Kodiak. He says that the property is prime real estate.

“It’s always been a great location. And at one time, the downtown viability of the downtown was tremendous. And that was the big store in town,” Acarregui said.

The new building is expected to be complete in November of 2022. The first vendors are expected to move in shortly after.

 

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