Buck’s Texaco on Dupont Street may be gone, but at least now it might not be forgotten.
A local developer recently purchased the site at 1315 Dupont St., where Buck’s Texaco operated for 40 years until it was demolished two years ago, and is planning to build a mixed-use development there.
Jason Loeb, a real estate agent for The Muljat Group, has submitted plans for design review to the city that include a four-story, 19,800-square-foot building with eight offices, 12 residential units and underground and above-ground parking. The site sits on just under a half acre between I and J Streets.
The development, called Buck’s Plaza, will retain some of the history of Buck’s Texaco, although it won’t necessarily have a service-station theme, Loeb said.
“It was a landmark, especially for folks who’ve been around here a while,” he said. “There will be some kind of an anchor of history in the site.”
Loeb said he’s heard from Lettered Streets residents who would like to see some restaurants and retail go in the development, but the lot is currently zoned to allow only office use. However, a conditional-use permit could be applied for after the project is built for other uses, such as a restaurant, city planner Darby Galligan said.
Most of the Lettered Streets residents are excited to see new development being proposed in the neighborhood, said Michael McAuley, vice-chair of the Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association. Many would like to see something other than offices go into the commercial portion, however.
“We’re hoping to get more restaurants or services residents could use, maybe a café,” he said. “It would be nice if there was a possibility to have different things in there.”
Some residents are wary of the building’s proposed height, which is several feet taller than the Roeder School building across the street, he said. The height concern is not necessarily because views may be blocked, but more of a general apprehension of any change in the neighborhood, he said. Only two other buildings in the area would be taller than Buck’s Plaza, he said.
Loeb said the designs are still preliminary and will go through the city’s design-review process. The project’s architect, Sean Hagsted of JWR in Lynden, is working to incorporate design elements to help the project fit in with the neighborhood, rather than stand out, he said.
Loeb purchased the property from Jere and Robert “Buck” Edwards at the end of May for $510,000, according to Whatcom County records. The Edwards’ had owned the lot since 1980 and closed and demolished the service station in 2005. The site then went through a cleanup process removing contaminated soil, Robert said.
Local developer Charly Myers, owner of Myers General Inc., had eyed the spot for a while and had plans to develop a mixed-use project there, but the deal never went through, Myers said.
The project will be Loeb’s first mixed-use development. He is currently working on a residential development called Sunny Brook Estates in the Silver Beach neighborhood.