Category Archives: aurora square

aurora square

Ron and Marlene Bateman, and Tamas Deak, the designer/developers of this new east Anchorage condo project appeared at the March Mt View Community Council meeting. MVCC President Don Crandall thought it would be interesting to see what some others in the area were doing in multifamily housing that was different than what’s commonly out there, and also to have a chance to ask those guys what they thought of the potential for multifamily housing in Mt View.

Their project will have 29 units in four buildings, the buildings pushed to the edge of the square site with an expansive common area in the middle. There is what I’d call a very formal and rational division of public and private space — all of the area on the ground is shared, and the entire roof area above each three story unit is accessible for use as a private yard. And the roof is structured to hold a hot tub, a small crowd of people, patio furniture and containerized gardens. All a little strange and unfamiliar for most Anchorites.

I’ve seen this sort of approach work really well. An architect friend of mine in Fairbanks has a really good example of this kind of a garden on her deck [photo below].

The Batemans and Deak didn’t have a lot to suggest for Mt View — noting, as everyone does that development might be tougher here because property values are depressed compared to most of the rest of Anchorage. But they suggested we should keep an eye on potential sites, and somehow try to guide development to the selected sites in the future. Exactly how to go about that isn’t too clear.
The crowd at the MVCC meeting was a little tough on them — one guy even suggesting they have all the ingredients there for a future ghetto! Judging from the people who have bought in to their project thus far [a lot of them local designers and artists] I don’t think it will play out that way.
I’ve known Ron and Tamas for awhile but I don’t say this to repay any favors — but I hope this project succeeds and it works to raise the bar. One of the regretful aspects of the last few years is that, while Anchorage has grown its quality of new housing is still lacking.

Aurora Square is near the NW corner of Northern Lights and Boniface, just west of the Value Village store.