A massive new commercial building is being added to downtown Kodiak’s skyline, and the island’s nonprofit health provider is behind the 63,000 square foot development.
The Kodiak Area Native Association announced its plans for the Kodiak Marketplace – on the corner of Rezanoff and Marine Way – at a City Council work session last September. The steel went up this winter, and Anchorage-based Cornerstone General Contractors just started adding wood framing to the building this month.
Greg Zadina is KANA’s Business Development Director. He said KANA now has more than 200 employees with offices scattered around town. Much of the build out addresses the organization’s need for more space.
“KANA is going to have our workforce development, economic development and some of those social service related activities out of that second floor office space,” he said.
It will also house administrative offices and conference rooms. Zadina said the site will be used for medical storage and meal distribution for elderly residents too.
But the public will also be able to use the building; its design includes a 6,000 square foot, top floor event space for rent; it has a commercial kitchen and overlooks St. Paul Harbor. And about a third of the 60,000-plus square foot space will be rented to businesses. Leases for the 11 storefronts – which will be located on the bottom level of the building – start at $3 a square foot. Zadina says most spots have already been filled by merchants.
KANA declined to name which businesses had signed leases in the new space citing nondisclosure agreements, although Kodiak farmer’s market regulars Bearfoot Bakery recently announced it would open a brick and mortar in the new Marketplace.
“You know, from KANA’s perspective it’s not a corporate investment of any kind, it’s really an investment in our downtown and our community,” said Zadina.
The new marketplace fills a notable void in Kodiak’s downtown waterfront left by the 65-year old AC Kraft building, which housed a number of retailers in its final years. KANA bought the building in 2014 and knocked it down last fall. Zadina said talking about the old property tends to bring up memories for many longtime residents.
“Whether it was the Kraft’s, you know and one of our board members sharing a story about being a kid and running through the Kraft store,” he said. “Or whether it was one of the contractors talking about being in high school and AC’s was where everyone met on Friday night.”
He said KANA hopes to open the Kodiak Marketplace’s commercial space to the public in late spring of next year.