Sam Boulos, a longtime Ferndale resident, has always wanted the best for his city, participating in and organizing community events, and relocating his business, Keith Oil Company, there.
Now, Boulos, 54, who’s also known as the founder of the Starvin’ Sams mini-marts, is building several warehouse/office buildings on his Pacific Industrial Park property that he hopes will potentially bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
“I’ve lived in Ferndale 25 years,” said Boulos. “It’s my city and I’m proud of it. I want to get some good, clean businesses in our community so we can continue to be a nice city to raise kids in.”
Since purchasing about 20 acres just off Pacific Highway from the Trillium Corp. five years ago, Boulos has been waiting for the right time to begin developing his property. He said recent interest from Canadian companies looking to relocate to Whatcom County spurred his decision to begin development this spring.
Currently under construction on his property, just west of the new Walton Beverage location, is a two-story, 20,000-square-foot warehouse and a two-story, 10,000-square-foot warehouse. About 10 percent to 15 percent of both buildings will include office space.
Credo Construction is building the 10,000-square-foot building; Faber Brothers Construction is building the 20,000-square-foot site. Both buildings are expected to be finished by the end of November. Boulos declined to give construction costs.
The new buildings, Boulos said, will be similar to his Keith Oil Company headquarters at 1440 Admiral Place, which is adjacent to the construction sites.
The smaller building is designed for one or two tenants, while the larger could accommodate up to four tenants, Boulos said.
“I’m hoping they’ll bring in industries that will bring a lot of jobs to the county,” Boulos said. “Everybody would benefit from that.”
Boulos said potential businesses could buy or lease the buildings and property, which is zoned light industrial/general commercial. He said several businesses, some with 40 to 50 employees, have already contacted him about the sites.
The 20,000-square-foot building is for sale for $2.1 million; the 10,000-square-foot location is being offered for $1.3 million. Jim Lackey, of Saratoga Commercial Management, is handling leasing and sales.
Boulos believes his buildings will be attractive to potential businesses because of their visibility and easy access to Interstate 5. Also, the city of Ferndale does not have a B&O tax.
After the first two warehouses are complete, Boulos will continue with an ambitious building plan. Next spring or summer, he plans to begin construction of a 12,000-square-foot building and another 20,000-square-foot structure.
Boulos, who spends 12 to 14 hours a day in his current office, which overlooks Mount Baker, said he’ll be selective on what businesses he leases or sells to.
“I want to build something nice here,” he said. “I want to make sure that what goes in will be something that’s good for me and the community.”