Anchorage buys lots from man in feud with city over shelter
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage has purchased two lots from a man who has filed lawsuits and complained for years that a downtown homeless shelter and nearby soup kitchen have hurt his business.
The $750,000 purchase last month is the first step in a plan for the city to buy all of auctioneer Ron Alleva’s land in the area, including his auction yard next to the Brother Francis Shelter, the Anchorage Daily News reported .
The Anchorage Assembly authorized the purchase earlier this year of the two fenced-in lots, which the city electric utility has leased for about a decade.
The lots might be developed for expanded homeless services, said Robin Ward, the city’s chief housing officer.
“He wants out,” Ward said. “This gives him the first step of getting out.”
Alleva, who owns Grubstake Auction Co., has clashed with the city, shelter and soup kitchen in recent years. He claims the shelters allow bad behavior and crime from their clients.
Alleva said he plans to use the money from the land sale to support his lawsuit against the city and the social services agency. In the lawsuit filed in April, he claimed the city has effectively condemned his property by not controlling illegal activity at the shelter.
Alleva still owns three lots near the shelter. The city is in negotiations to purchase the lots, but the transaction is still many months away, Ward said.
The city is planning to transfer ownership of the lots to a nonprofit agency to develop, which could include more housing and other services for homeless people, Ward said.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com