City Of Bethel sets price for sale of property to Kusko Kush

The proposed store for Kusko Kush sits on 3rd Avenue between the Long House Hotel and Sammy’s Market. Store owners Naim Shabani and Jared Karr built the store on land they are currently leasing from the City of Bethel. (Credit Greg Kim/KYUK)

The City of Bethel has set the price for the property that it proposes to sell to the marijuana store, Kusko Kush. A 2016 appraisal valued the land on 3rd Avenue, next to the Long House Hotel, at $173,000. That would be the price asked of Kusko Kush.

For the past six months, the city has been leasing the land to the business. But on Aug. 23, the city said that it could no longer lease land to Kusko Kush because selling marijuana is federally illegal. The business owners, Jared Karr and Naim Shabani, threatened to sue, claiming $16 million in damages. They said that if they were not allowed to open the store, they would lose the money they had already invested in designing and building it, plus millions of dollars in potential revenue. 

To reach a compromise, the Bethel City Council introduced the sale of the property last week. City Clerk Lori Strickler said that if approved, this would be the city’s first land sale in over 11 years. 

The public will have two opportunities to comment on the sale: at the next regular council meeting on Nov. 12, and at a special meeting to make the final decision on whether the city will go through with the sale on Dec. 3.

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