Infill, development into UGA crucial to meet coming demand, say city officials
For the past three years officials for the City of Bellingham have been forecasting the city will grow by 31,600 people by 2022. There will need to be around 15,000 residential units needed to provide for this growth.
If the plethora of residential building project announcements this past year is any indication, it appears Bellingham is well on track to meeting the growth requirements.
There are currently more than 15 large residential projects in various stages of development. If each project is built out, it will mean more than 3,700 residential units, with more than 2,100 of them being single family homes.
That doesn’t include the Samish Hill rezone proposal. If the zoning there is changed as the developers have requested, more than 1,000 homes could be built, providing the higher density city officials think is needed to meet the incoming demand.
The housing boom is not contained within Bellingham’s city limits. In big residential projects alone, there are more than 2,500 homes in the planning stages in the county, including in the Kendall area (767 homes), Ken Hertz’s project in Blaine (650 homes), Fred Bovenkamp’s project in Blaine (600 homes) and Doug Connelly’s Blaine project (353 homes).
The following is a rundown on the largest projects within Bellingham’s city limits and the Bellingham urban growth area. The sources for this information include The Bellingham Planning Department, The Whatcom County Planning Department, and the projects’ developers. Each project corresponds with a number on the map below this story.
1. Northern Cordata area
Homes/units planned: 766 homes
Developer: D.R. Horton
Dubbed “The nation’s homebuilder,” D.R. Horton plans to build 316 homes on property purchased from Fred Bovenkamp earlier this year, as well as 450 homes on nearby property purchased from Trillium.
Status report: Subdivision approval has been given for the 316 homes located on along Cordata Parkway, south of Kline Rd. The company expects to start building later this year. There was a neighborhood meeting on July 26 about the 450-home project, located on 72 acres along Kline Road, between Aldrich Road and Cordata Parkway.
2. Highlands development
Homes/units planned: 739 homes
Developer: Greenbriar construction
Also known as the Chuckanut Ridge development, this 85-acre project has generated the most publicity because of the organized efforts to halt the project. The project would be developed over a three- to seven-year period.
Status: Submitted preliminary plat application, still being processed. Public hearings expected to be scheduled in coming months after a SEPA determination has been made, according to the City of Bellingham web site.
3. James Street Village
Homes/units planned: 350 homes (First phase, 45 homes)
Developer: Peggy Larsen, Dean Larsen, Bruce Larsen, Julie Larsen
Status: Developers held neighborhood meeting to unveil entire project earlier this year, but plan on starting with first phase. It is located on the west side of James Street, south of McLeod Road.
4. West Cordata Green
Homes/units planned: 344 condo units
Located on Aldrich Road just outside the city limits
Developer: Aldrich Park LLC
Status: Received preliminary approval for 344 condominium units, the developer is working on the specific binding site plans.
5. Morse Square
Homes/units planned: 330 condo units
Located at the former Morse Hardware site, tenants are beginning to move into the first two completed buildings. A total of eight buildings have been planned for the site.
Developer: Rick Westerop
Status: Two buildings completed, two under construction. No further public hearings required for the remaining six buildings.
6. Darby Estates
Homes/units planned: 228 apartment units
Located near Whatcom Community College on Eliza Avenue.
Developer: Wise Enterprise
Status: Nearly completed.
7. Padden Trails LLC
Homes/units planned: 200 homes
Developer: Pacific Crest Partners
Located on Kellogg Street, at the end of 33rd Street, south of Fairhaven Parkway.
Status: Held a neighborhood pre-application meeting in January.
8. Former Walton Beverage site
Homes/units planned: 150 units
Developer: Bellingham/Whatcom Housing Authority
Located at 1515 N. State St., the housing authority is still studying the feasibility of the project. Director John Harmon told The Bellingham Herald he expects a final design decision to be made in October.
Status: Nothing has been submitted to the city yet.
9. Baker Place
Homes/units planned: 71 homes, 24 condos, 54 apartment units.
Developer: Charles Lewsader
Located on West Bakerview Road between Northwest and Eliza Avenues.
Status: Under construction.
10. Harris Square
Homes/units planned: 100 condo units
Developer: Troy Muljat, Andre Molnar
Status: Located on Harris Avenue near 10th St.; the project is nearly complete.
Homes/units planned: 92 condo units in an 11-story building, located on the corner of Chestnut Street and Cornwall Avenue.
Developer: Harvey and Judith Flax
Status: The SEPA application has been turned in; no building permit has been issued yet. No public hearing required.
12. Meadow Wood Townhouses
Homes/units planned: 81 residential units on 4176 Aldrich Rd.
Developer: Bellingham Housing Authority
Status: Comment period for project ended in Nov. 2004.
13. McKenzie Square
Homes/units planned: 80, next to Harris Square on Harris Avenue.
Developer: Troy Muljat and Andre Molnar
Status: Design review contract nearly completed, no building permit yet.
14. Fairhaven Harbor
Homes/units planned: 77 condo units on 8th St. and Harris Avenue.
Developer: Ted Mischiakov, Rick Westerop
Status: Opponents of the plan have appealed the shoreline permit to the Washington State shoreline hearings board. If the appeal from the opponents is denied, the developers can then apply for building permits.
Homes/units planned: 68 homes
Developer: Alliance Properties
Located on the northwest corner of East Bakerview Road and Irongate, just outside the city limits, the homes would be built on 10 acres.
Status: Won approval from the county hearing examiner in July.
16. Palmer Estates
Homes/units planned: 64 homes
Developer: Jim Olson
Located Near Yew Street Road, on Palmer Road, just outside the city limits.
Status: Currently waiting for a SEPA review, which will be followed by a technical review committee meeting and a public hearing.
17. 210 E. Laurel
Homes/units planned: 51 units
Developer: Bellingham Housing Authority
Status: Design approved by city in July.
18. Cedar Ridge Village
Homes/units planned: 55 units on the 900 block of Nevada Street
Developer: Cyprus Ventures LLC and Exxel Pacific
Status: Approved by city hearing examiner in January.