The historic Hotel Leo, located at 1224 Cornwall Ave., will open at the site of the original Byron Hotel, which opened in 1889. The property will be the first in Bellingham to mix hotel rooms with residential units. The 40 hotel rooms will share a lobby and social areas with 52 resident units called the Leopold Apartments.
“Downtown Bellingham has an attractive mix of restaurants, stores, business, breweries and events drawing visitors in,” Hotel Leo’s managing partner, Peter Frazier said in a press release. “We are excited to be adding a modern, high-quality hotel within walking distance of them, and hope to grow with the neighborhood.”
Nearly 75 percent of Hotel Leo’s furnishings, equipment and materials are from local businesses such as The Greenhouse Ideal, Mt. Baker Plywood, Fitness Gear & Training, Judd & Black, RF Design, Frameworks, Hertco Kitchens and more. Michelle Banks of Bellingham firm Spiral Studios helped design the interior of the hotel and update rooms that aim to capture the building’s history.
The hotel features rooms with views of Bellingham Bay, multiple event spaces, fitness facility, lounge and library and the Clark Gable Theatre. The Hotel Leo’s local owners are looking for tenants to lease much of the ground floor for a restaurant, lounge and events in the Crystal Ballroom. They hope to see the hotel return to its role as the social center of Bellingham, Frazier said.