Story last updated at 4:22 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2002

New street to access Save-U-More
by R.J. Kelly
Managing Editor

photo: business
  Photo by R. J. Kelly, Homer News
Excavation contractor Shane Baringer of Twin Peaks Construction, Anchor Point, which is excavating the new Save-U-More site, walks down what will become Greatland Street. The new store is to be at the upper left of the site pictured. General Contractor is Shane Franke of Soldotna.  
Only a few minor design modifications and "last-minute corrections" stand in the way of a final permit for construction of a new Save-U-More store off the Sterling Highway in Homer, city planning director Zak Tucker said this week.

Even though a zoning permit has not yet been issued, the city's new ordinance requiring special use permits for buildings over 8,000 square feet will not apply to the proposed 21,000 square-foot Save-U-More, Tucker said, because discussions about the new store were "in progress" long before the ordinance was approved June 10.

Valentin Caspaar, the chief executive of Inorex Inc., which owns Save-U-More stores in Alaska, could not be reached for comment despite several messages left at his Seattle office over a several day period.

In April both city planner Zak Tucker and Caspaar said Inorex was cooperating with the city on design issues. At that time, Caspaar said the new Homer store will not be as plain nor as high as the 40,000-square-foot Save-U-More near Soldotna. The Kalifornsky Beach Road store is about 24 feet high, while the Homer store is proposed to be about 16 feet high, Caspaar said in April.

Excavation and construction of the base for a new street to provide access to the planned new store has been continuing steadily over the past few weeks. The street, to be called Greatland Street, will eventually run from the Sterling Highway, also known as the Homer Bypass, to Pioneer Avenue, city public works director Carey Meyer said Tuesday. Construction of the roadway and related fixtures will be paid for by Inorex, Meyer said, but the street will be taken over by the city when complete.

The Save-U-More store will be built on about two acres on three of 18 vacant lots Caspaar bought from the University of Alaska Anchorage, said Angie Newby of Homer Real Estate Associates which is marketing Caspaar's remaining 15 lots on the Sterling Highway side of the store site. The parcels, which were bequeathed to UAA by the late Elmer Rasmuson, form "the largest contiguous commercial property in the central business district," Newby said Tuesday.