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Anchorage expected to see summer construction boom

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Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's largest city is experiencing a retail surge that will be keeping construction crews busy this summer.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the Fred Meyer store in midtown Anchorage is planning to undergo a $20 million overhaul. Construction will cost about $13 million, plus about $7 million for equipment.
The project is just one piece of what city planners are describing as a boom year for commercial construction in the city.
"We're essentially completely rebuilding the store within the walls. All the departments are going to be upgraded," said Bob Currey-Wilson, director of real estate for the Portland, Ore.-based chain.
The overhaul will include upgraded service counters, a larger food section and rough-cut stone accents on the entryways.
"It's kind of a sophisticated approach to big box stores, over what we typically see here," said city senior planner Sharon Ferguson, who reviewed the designs.
Records show that by mid-April builders had applied for more than $223 million in construction projects. That's a 30 percent increase over the same period in the previous year, city records show. It includes more than $165 million in commercial construction.
Other construction projects planned for this summer include a Sam's Club, a Wal-Mart and the first phase of the Bass Pro Shops. Walgreens is considering another Anchorage drug store location.
Other long-awaited projects are already in the works. Cabela's is expected to open a store next year in south Anchorage, said city community development director Jerry Weaver.

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