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Governor Signs Bill Extending AK Railroad Land Leases

HB 314 gives ARR option to give 95 year leases to businesses, promotes long-term development and high-value buildings

 

Thursday, May 24, 2012, Kenai, Alaska – Businesses on Alaska Railroad Corporation land, or prospective tenants, now have an incentive to invest in building improvements or construction thanks to a bill signed by Governor Sean Parnell yesterday.

House Bill 314, sponsored by the House Labor & Commerce Committee, grants the Railroad the option to extend property lease terms from 55 to 95 years. Representative Kurt Olson, the Labor and Commerce Committee Chair, said legislators have heard from tenants or prospective tenants that it’s oftentimes hard to secure construction loans from lenders because the timetable for their leases isn’t long enough to invest in high-value construction or improvements.

“This is a win for the railroad, the state and for leaseholders,” Olson, R-Kenai, said. “Being able to take a firm commitment to the bank will make it easier for businesses to secure funding for construction and improvements. I would like to thank my staff for all the hard work done on this bill as well as my colleagues and the governor.”

The Municipality of Anchorage, the cities of Valdez, Seward and Whittier, as well as various leaseholders and developers throughout the Railbelt region supported the bill.

HB 314 takes effect immediately.

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