Pair of Squalicum medical facilities planned

Heidi Schiller
   A pair of 24,000-square-foot medical office buildings are in the works for Squalicum Parkway.
    Denver-based developer Pete Perry said he is in the preliminary design stages for a 23,500-square-foot medical office building at 3200 Squalicum Parkway. A neighborhood meeting for the project is scheduled for Aug. 14.
    The proposed project sits on the last four parcels available for raw land development in Area 7 of the Cornwall Park Neighborhood, also known as the St. Joseph Hospital campus, planner Brian Smart said.
    Several Cornwall Park neighborhood residents have expressed concern about the project, especially those living on nearby Plymouth Drive, said John McGarrity, chairman of the Cornwall Park Neighborhood Association board.
   They are concerned about the project’s inclusion of a stormwater detention pond used as a buffer zone, McGarrity said. The neighborhood’s master plan does not allow stormwater ponds to be used as buffers, he said.
   The project’s architect, David Christensen, described the pond in question as a “mitigated and landscape-enhanced detention area.”
   Residents are also concerned with the site’s two-story plan because they feel they will lose their sense of privacy, McGarrity said.
   Perry, who has been in the real estate development business for 37 years, said this is his first project in Bellingham, and is therefore using local businesses, including Christensen’s design firm, Dawson Construction, Inc. and WestCom Properties, Inc., to help with the job.
   Christensen has also designed another 24,000-square-foot medical office building in the Squalicum area, although it’s not located within Area 7 of the Cornwall Park Neighborhood, he said.
   The building, which is located at the north end of Squalicum Parkway, is being designed for Squalicum Creek Properties LLC. The company consists of three plastic surgeons and a former plastic surgeon from NoVare’ Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as two physical therapists from Lynden Therapy Specialists, said plastic surgeon and LLC member Dr. James Blackburn.
   Blackburn said NoVare’ will occupy one floor of the building and Lynden Physical Therapy will occupy a separate suite. Several other suites in the building will be either leased or sold, he said.
   While McGarrity hasn’t seen the plans for the site, he said most neighborhood residents would likely be concerned with how close to Squalicum Creek the building is.
   “We’re always concerned about the creek,” he said.


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