Fairbanks real estate firm expands into Eagle River

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 13:25
  • An open house at a new Eagle River real estate office on August 2, 2017. Despite an ongoing recession, Chugiak-Eagle River continues to attract a steady trickle of new businesses. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)

Add real estate to the shortlist of growing local industries: An established Interior company is expanding into Southcentral, setting up shop in downtown Eagle River.

“We had an opportunity to start an office and we decided to go for it,” said Angie Tallant, owner of Somers & Associates Realtors.

The company keeps other offices in North Pole and Fairbanks, where it was founded. On a humid afternoon in early August, the realtors gathered for an open house in their new Eagle River office space, sandwiched between a tax prep service and a coffee shop in the Eagle River Shopping Center. Tallant said they wanted something in a high-traffic area. The former Wedbush Securities space fit the bill.

Remodeled and repainted, the new Somers office is within half a mile of about half a dozen other local real estate businesses, on the Old Glenn Highway, a busy main street in the middle of town. Nine people – including experienced and established local brokers — will go to work there, Tallant said.

Alaska is still in the grips of recession, according to state economists and business leaders. The state’s economic future is grim, according to legislators and chamber of commerce presidents. Unemployment is on the rise, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Across the broader Anchorage area, the number of home loans are on the decline, according to the labor department.

But Chugiak-Eagle River real estate seems to buck the trends. Since the beginning of the year, local realtors have described a tight market distinguished by steady demand and low inventory. Tallant is optimistic.

“Eagle River has a strong market, just like Fairbanks and the Wasilla area,” she said.

Tallant said her company looked forward to becoming part of the community — in many ways, Eagle River reminds her of Fairbanks. It’s the kind of place where “everybody knows everyone and everybody cares about their neighbors,” she said. The two places share the same sense of community; the same small-town feel.

That bodes well for the newest office, Tallant said. The offices up north are “insanely busy.”

Contact Star reporter Kirsten Swann at kirsten.swann@alaskastar.com.

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