Mental Health Trust transfers land for possible psychiatric hospital

Posted: Sunday, February 04, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state will take ownership of about half of a 76-acre parcel of property that houses the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and the McLaughlin Youth Center.

Officials representing the owner of the land, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, said it will transfer the property as a possible site for a new state psychiatric hospital. The land could also provide for expansion of the youth prison.

''This proposed land transfer is intended to get the API replacement project back on track,'' said trust board Chairwoman Caren Robinson.

The state has been trying to replace API with a smaller facility with services supplemented by a community-based system of mental health services.

The state proposed renovating the former Charter North Hospital but neighbors and the Anchorage Planning and Zoning Commission objected.

Robinson said the deal also allows McLaughlin to assume management of the land it occupies and will allow the trust to generate revenue from the remaining portion of the parcel.

Under the deal, the trust would give eight acres to the state without compensation as a contribution to the API replacement project.

Another 18 acres will be given at no cost for continued operation of McLaughlin on the site.

About 13 acres of the transferred property, including land under the current API, would be exchanged with the state for land of equal value.

That value of the exchange would be established by appraisal and is expected to exceed $3 million.

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