Tlingit & Haida Purchase Driftwood Lodge

Mar 15, 2023 | Alaska Native, News, Real Estate

Driftwood Lodge

435 West Willoughby Avenue in Juneau.

Tlingit & Haida

A hotel and café in downtown Juneau are now under tribal ownership. The Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska closed on the purchase of the Driftwood Lodge and Sandpiper Café.

Getting Land Back

The 48,179-square-foot (1.106 acre) property at 435 West Willoughby Avenue is across the street from Tlingit & Haida’s Andrew Hope Building and two other commercial office buildings acquired in 2021. The area is designated the Aak’w Village District, an ongoing effort to develop the neighborhood while sustaining local arts and culture.

“This acquisition checked all of the boxes for the tribe’s strategic plans for growth and economic sovereignty,” says Tlingit & Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson. “Not only are we getting land back in the old Juneau Indian Village, but the acquisition also made perfect sense once we completed our due diligence process.”

Chief Development Officer Will Ware oversees the Tribal Development branch of Tlingit & Haida, and his team led the property acquisition.

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“This was a solid investment with sustainable profit projections and an important land acquisition as the Tribe continues to develop its campus in the downtown area,” says Ware. “The business will immediately provide training and employment opportunities for tribal citizens, as well as future development potential.”

Tlingit & Haida will continue running the Driftwood Lodge as a hotel, so occupants should not notice any change in service. Lodge operations were transferred to Tlingit & Haida in February after the deed was signed. Ten employees now work for Tlingit & Haida.

The three-story hotel contains sixty-two rooms and suites. The café is located in an adjacent building.

Peterson adds that the purchase is part of the Tlingit & Haida’s continued effort to get lands back into Indigenous hands.

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