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Alaska Tale: Center renaissance obsoletes longtime tenant


When the Northern Lights Center in Anchorage, Alaska, was owned by folksy former governor Wally Hickel, things were good for Title Wave Books. The midtown neighborhood was in decline, rent was cheap, and husband-and-wife owners Julie Drake and Steve Lloyd were able to make a living from their low-margin inventory.

Then in 2006, Northern Lights was purchased by new owners, who capitalized on the center’s central location to revitalize it with an REI store, improved dining options, and an Alaska Club gym. Rents are rising markedly as a result, and Title Wave manager Angela Libal, who is in the process of buying the store from Drake and Lloyd, has begun to set her sights elsewhere.

"It would be great if we could stay, but it's important for us to be in a place where we are viable and not overextending ourselves," Libal told the Anchorage Dispatch.

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