Kenai Peninsula College finalizes land purchase

The lot, next door to Kachemak Bay Campus, formerly belonged to Young’s Downtown Inn and Restaurant

Kachemak Bay Campus will be expanding in the future.

Kenai Peninsula College, under which KBC is one of two campuses, finalized the purchase of 565 East Pioneer Ave. on Oct. 13. The lot, which lies adjacent to KBC, is the current location of Young’s Downtown Inn and Restaurant.

The property has been off and on the market for a number of years, according to KBC director Reid Brewer.

Both former KBC director Carol Swartz and former KPC director Gary Turner had previously looked into acquiring it for the college, Brewer said.

“Because of its proximity to the campus, it represents a great potential for us to build capacity,” Brewer said. “It was something that we’ve been looking at for a while, and it became available, and everything kind of lined up so that we could make the purchase.”

According to an Oct. 16 press release from KPC, the additional property will “support the college’s mission of providing accessible, high-quality education,” as well as supporting “the institution’s goals in its master plan.”

The 2022 University of Alaska Anchorage Campus Master Plan covers the various campuses under UAA, of which KPC is a branch. According to an introduction by UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell, the document “will serve as a guide for investment in university facilities for the next ten years” and “provides direction for development.”

The section focusing on KBC describes existing campus conditions, facility needs based on academic planning, campus vision and user input, and Master Plan recommendations, the document states.

“Part of any college planning includes a master plan, which is, in a perfect world, how could you build capacity, how could you grow as a campus,” Brewer said. “Because there are relatively few spaces that become available downtown, this one being right next to campus represented an opportunity for us to increase our programming, build capacity, and really see how we could better serve the community.”

Since the purchase has just recently been finalized, the college still has a long way to go before setting a concrete path for developing the new lot.

“We are taking a hard look at what the best potential use of that space would be,” Brewer said. “Right now, we’re so early on that there are a lot of potentials on where we can go from here.

“It is a process with the university in terms of moving things forward.”

In addition to consideration by the university on what they hope to accomplish, KBC also plans to incorporate input from the community, since in addition to serving a diverse student base, the college also caters to a wide variety of broader community needs.

KPC has already been conducting what Brewer called a “community roundtable” for the past couple of years at both KBC and the main campus in Soldotna, as a way to check in on how they’re meeting student and community needs.

“We’re constantly checking in with the community so we can see how we’re doing, and to see what we could do in the future,” Brewer said. “That, along with potentials that we see as an institution, will drive the use for the new space.”

The master plan does describe a few potential projects that the college may be able to implement on the acquired lot, including out-of-state student housing, a larger lecture hall, a career and technical center for workforce development programs like construction, welding, and culinary arts, and an outdoor space for use by students and faculty.

The press release called the acquisition an “exciting development” and a “significant milestone in KPC’s commitment to expanding its facilities and enhancing the educational opportunities for students in the region.”

“We’re really excited about this opportunity, and as always we’re really excited to see how we can serve our students in the community,” Brewer said.

Find more information about the UAA Campus Facilities Master Plan at

The sign at the entrance of Kenai Peninsula College’s Kachemak Bay Campus is photographed, with Young’s Downtown Inn in the background on the right, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. (Finn Heimbold/Homer News)

The sign at the entrance of Kenai Peninsula College’s Kachemak Bay Campus is photographed, with Young’s Downtown Inn in the background on the right, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. (Finn Heimbold/Homer News)