Anchorage Land Transfer Bill Headed to President’s Desk

Authorizes Transfer of 9 Acres to Municipality of Anchorage

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation introduced by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) to allow for the sale of nine acres of unused and undeveloped federal property to the Municipality of Anchorage. S. 1492 facilitates the conveyance of the National Archives and Records Administration property located at 400 East 40th Avenue in Anchorage to the Municipality for no less than fair market value. 

“Working closely alongside Congressman Young, I am pleased to see this commonsense land transfer – which for years has been met with Senate gridlock – headed to the President’s desk for his signature,” said Senator Sullivan. “This legislation has a number of concrete benefits for all stakeholders: Taxpayers will see the sale of the land go toward paying down the federal debt and streamlining the long, costly administrative process, the Archives will be able to offload a property it no longer needs, and the Municipality will be able to acquire a valuable plot of developable land, which is increasingly scarce in the Anchorage area. This legislation is long overdue." 

“This federal land transfer is a win-win for all those involved: it saves the American taxpayer money by reducing the federal governments growing footprint of unused properties, it provides the people of Anchorage significant benefit, and it fulfills a need for new growth and economic development within Alaska,” said Congressman Don Young. “As I’ve said before, this legislation is a prime example of how Congress should work – identify a problem or issue, build broad support, and pass commonsense solutions on behalf of your constituents. After more than three years of working on this legislation, I’m very excited to see this land in the hands of the Municipality. I commend Senator Sullivan, and countless others, for working to make this legislation a reality; it truly was a team effort.”

S. 1492, which has the support of Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and was supported by former Mayor Dan Sullivan, would specifically direct the General Services Administration, on behalf of the National Archives, to convey the property in Anchorage to the Municipality. The National Archives has determined that it no longer needs the property and supports the sale as part of its efforts to reduce costs to the taxpayer and shrink its overall footprint. The bill will require fair market value based on highest and best use for the property, determined by an independent appraisal.    

Congressman Young is the sponsor of H.R. 336, companion to S. 1492, which passed the House on June 1, 2015. Congressman Young previously passed identical legislation in the House during the 113th Congress.