A former big box store in Juneau that’s been vacant since 2016 is now for sale — about $2.3 million below what the city assessor’s office says it’s worth.
Part of the low price has to do with pre-existing agreements on the property. While a buyer would own the building and improvements outright, the land is more complicated. Documents with the State Recorder’s Office indicate the owner is obligated in June 2025 to begin leasing the land or buy it outright.
“The property is still in excellent condition,” said Angie Nolan, the property’s broker with Alaska Unlimited Realty. “That’s something that I want everybody to understand. I think one of the myths is with the property being vacant, I’ve heard rumors of it being moldy and having a lot of disrepair, and that’s not the case at all.”
The building was remodeled in 2008 before it became a Walmart. Nolan said pictures in the listing show it’s in good shape, inside and out.
Nolan said the asking price was set so it would be “obtainable” and benefit Juneau.
She’s offering tours and pitching national retailers. She said she’s also looking for investors in a village-in-a-box concept she’s seen in Ohio. A company there has converted big buildings into assisted living facilities, with tiny homes and services along an indoor Main Street.
So far, one industry’s inquiries have stood out.
“Um, unfortunately, I’ve had the people that want to sell pot,” she said.
Unfortunate, she said, because marijuana is forbidden under a noxious use restriction, which was a condition of Walmart’s sale of the property to her client. Nolan said the restriction is in place until June 2025.
Meanwhile, the City and Borough of Juneau has been exploring new, consolidated space for its scattered offices.
“Personally, I would love to see the city there. I think it would make sense for the city to move all of their operations there,” Nolan said.
Last year, the city manager pitched a $27 million concept for a new city hall on top of the Downtown Transit Center parking garage. By square footage, the old Walmart would be nearly three times bigger than that concept.
City Manager Rorie Watt said Monday by email that the city doesn’t have a municipal use for a nearly 3-acre building built for large retail.
“It seems like this property should stay in private ownership,” he wrote.
Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon agreed.
Editor’s note: We’ve corrected and updated this story because of an error of omission. The original story failed to note pre-existing agreements with the property that significantly affect its value.