Troy Muljat of the Muljat Group has applied to the city of Bellingham to construct a three-story, mixed-use building on the 1300 block of Lakeway Drive between Orleans and Pacific streets.
“We think it’s really going to be a benchmark building for that block and as an entrance to the Civic Field Athletic Complex,” Muljat said.
The 24,392-square-foot, mixed-use development will have 40 spaces of underground parking and three levels with retail, office and residential applications.
The first floor will have 8,144 square feet for a coffee shop, a lobby and three other retail spaces with more than 1,500 square feet each.
The second floor will have two office spaces within 8,124 square feet; one will be more than 4,000 square feet and another will be more than 2,800 square feet.
Lastly, the third floor will have eight residential units within 8,124 square feet, which will range from 621 square feet to 1,088 square feet. The building’s plans also show a rooftop garden.
Muljat is no stranger to large-scale developments. He has worked to develop Harris and McKenzie squares in Fairhaven, Harbor Station in Oak Harbor and is currently developing Ferndale Station in Ferndale.
However, Muljat said, this particular development has been five years in the making.
“This has taken longer than any project I have done,” Muljat said.
In 2003, the six lots that make up the development site began the process of being rezoned from residential/multi-family to planned commercial in order to allow development. The rezone was finally approved in December 2007.
Brian Smart, a Bellingham city planner, said the city doesn’t usually rezone such small portions of land, but with a small retail strip across the street that includes a 7-Eleven convenience store, a Subway restaurant and other businesses, the rezone was allowed.
“It made sense that it would be rezoned given the adjacent commercial uses,” Smart said.
Muljat said the project has evolved over the years but any changes have been minor and stylistic.
“The intent was always for it to be a three-story, mixed-use building,” Muljat said.
To prepare the site for development, Muljat said two homes and a four-plex will have to be removed, but it is too early to say if they will be moved offsite or demolished.
Barring any major financial issues, Muljat said he is looking for tenants and is prepared to begin construction soon. However, that all depends on when and if he gets the building permits.
“That’s up to the city now,” Muljat said.