The owners of Fanatik Bike Company, Mark and Kathy Salisbury, recently purchased four turn-of-the-century homes on the 1900 block of James Street with the ultimate goal of clearing a 20,000-square-foot site where the couple will construct a new facility for the bike company and an additional retail space available for lease.
Mark said with the new site, he and his wife could build a 6,000- to 7,000-square-foot Fanatik facility on one end of the 20,000-square-foot lot, which would more than double its current space at 2025 James St., and a 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot retail space for lease to another outdoor-type company that would complement Fanatik and its clientele.
“We want to make kind of an attraction that people can come to,” Mark said.
The couple purchased one home and three other houses occupied by businesses.
Mark said he wants to sell the homes so they can be moved off the property and do not have to demolished. He said it is early in the process but he would like to start work this spring.
According to property records, the couple purchased 1926 James St., which houses L & M Trophy & Engraving, 1934 James St. from Yvonne’s Bernina LLC; and 1938 James St., which houses Wee Ones Re-Runs for a total purchase price of $1,070,000. As well, they bought a home at 1930 James St. for $289,500, which brought the total to $1,359,500.
Mark said with the extra space, the company would be able to have more inventory on hand and more storage space for its service department, which houses bikes before and after they are fixed.
“We would have more space to be flexible for our customers,” Mark said.
Mark said he and his wife are looking to use recycled materials wherever possible in an effort to create a unique facility.
“We are meeting with different architects right now,” Mark said. “We want to do something that fits in but is also an eye catcher.”
Mark said the Bellingham community has always liked its bikes but lately demand is up.
“The community seems to be really into biking right now,” Mark said. “I’m sure a lot of it has to do with high fuel costs.”
Kathy McCrady, owner of Wee One’s Reruns, a children’s consignment shop that has occupied the corner of James, State and Iowa streets since 1983, said the store will be moving to Sunnyland Square next to Trader Joe’s as early as September.
McCrady said a Realtor who had listed the home next to Wee Ones came over and said she had a buyer for the house but they would not buy unless McCrady sold as well.
“I had always said I would sell if I got a certain offer,” McCrady said. “This one was close enough.”
After pondering retirement for few hours, McCrady said she loved her work too much to retire and that she would probably keep working for another 10 years.
With the new 3,600-square-foot Sunnyland location, McCrady said she will be able to carry more products, set up displays and have more room to spread out the racks.
“I have milk crates filled with cleats shoved beneath a rack of jeans right now,” she said.
McCrady said she is moving just up the street because she wanted to stay in the area.
Mark and Kathy Salisbury, who would be moving Fanatik just a bit farther south on James Street, can certainly understand that.
“I just love the James Street area,” Mark said. “It’s close to the core of Bellingham and is pretty accessible from anywhere.”