A new bike shop is coming to a well-known building in Bellingham’s Fountain District.
Signs in the windows at 2416 Meridian St. have for several weeks announced the future arrival of Bikesport, a venture run by Andy and Stacy Walker, along with their business partners, Scott Kowal and Tassie Orem-Kowal.
The Bellingham store will share a connection to a Bikesport that has been in Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood since 1995, although the Bellingham shop will operate as an independent business rather than a franchise location, Andy Walker said.
He said they hope to open by the first week of March, adding that they want to be ready in time for the year’s prime cycling-sales season, which typically starts in early spring.
“Ultimately, we have to be part of that to be successful, with the projections we’ve made,” Walker said.
The Walkers, who have lived in Whatcom County for several decades, recently purchased the iconic Meridian Street property. The 10,080-square-foot building was once home to the popular Fountain Drug and Galleria. Creative Dancewear, a local dance supply store, occupied the top floor between 2009 and 2012, before moving to a new location on Holly Street.
Walker said the building’s history was a major factor in its selection as the site for Bikesport. After talking with other business owners in the Fountain District and residents from surrounding neighborhoods, he said there has long been desire to put the building back to use.
“The neighborhood is very excited to have a tenant in this space,” Walker said. “There is a lot of community support.”
An 1,100-square-foot space on the building’s north side will also be available for a second business to lease, he said.
Bikesport will carry several brands of bikes, including lines from Jamis, Cannondale, Santa Cruz and GT Bicycles, Walker said. The shop will also offer repair services and cycling accessories, as well as kids’ products, he said.
Another aspect to Bikesport—one Walker believes will add a unique element to the store—will be its triathlon section. Maureen “Mo” Trainor, an elite triathlete and owner of Train-or-Tri, is partnering with the shop to develop special training sessions, Walker said.
Bikesport will likely employ between eight and 12 people, both full-time and part-time, although that will vary based on the season, he said.
Walker said he plans to cater to a variety of customers, from serious cyclists to casual or newbie riders. While there are already several established cycling retailers in town, he believes there is opportunity to bring a fresh approach to the business without muscling out competitors.
“I think there’s room for growth in the industry in this town,” he said.
Evan Marczynski, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or firstname.lastname@example.org.