The legislative information office in downtown Anchorage will be getting a $44 million facelift.

The Alaska Legislature rents its current space on Fourth Avenue for about $57,000 per month.

Once construction is complete in December 2014, the square footage of the rented space will increase from 40,000 to 64,000, and the building should make interactions easier for constituents and lawmakers.

But those upgrades will increase the bill to an estimated $280,000 per month.

Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, who chairs the Legislative Council, said the building owner, not the state, will foot the renovation bill.
 
“I have heard complaints from the public complaining about just how dirty and dingy the building is, how unsafe they feel going into the parking lot at night,” Hawker said.
 
Pfeffer Development is in charge of the project, which will expand the building by taking over the now-vacant Anchor Pub and adding more floors to the building.
 
“The Downtown Partnership people have been telling us that, since our landlord acquired and closed the Anchor bar here, their incidents of problems resulting from bars being open downtown have been noticeably reduced already,” said Hawker.

The 85 people currently in the LIO will move into nearby Mount McKinley Professional Office Building starting next month, said Hawker.