June buzz


Celebrating green building incentives

photo by Isaac Bonnell

Local planners, developers, state agents and politicians raise their drinks to celebrate progress on implementing green building incentives and removing barriers to sustainable development on May 12.

In December 2008, Sustainable Connections kicked off its Five/12 project, a local effort to create five green building incentives in 12 months. The May 12 event at Uisce on Commercial Street was designed to be a progress report from city staffers, state agencies and Sustainable Connections about the status of specific incentives and research data regarding desired incentives.

“We just wanted to have a celebration to let people know where we are in the process,” said Nick Hartrich, green building program manager at Sustainable Connections.

Hartrich said he will release a detailed report on the Five/12 project in early June. Hartrich is hoping to have five incentives instituted by January 2010.
For more information, call (360) 647-7093 ext. 107.


Fairhaven library closes for repairs

The Fairhaven Branch of the Bellingham Public Library will be closed for five months beginning June 1 while repair work to the 104-year-old building gets under way.

Dawson Construction, the project’s general contractor, will focus on four major aspects: the exterior “envelope” of the building, the entry staircase, the windows, and re-grading the perimeter of the building to direct water away from window wells and the building foundation.

“We’re thrilled that the lowest bid came from such a respected Bellingham construction firm,” said Library director Pamela Kiesner in a statement. “We’ve heard many good things about Dawson and we know they have a particular interest in the Southside and preserving this historic cultural amenity.”

Fairhaven branch library staff members will be working at the central library during the temporary closure. Southside residents will continue to be able to return library materials to a book return at the Fairhaven branch; after construction fencing is installed, a temporary book return will be located just past the entrance to the library parking lot on 12th Street. The community drop box at the Sehome Haggen will also continue to be available for returned items.

Updates about the project will be posted periodically to the library’s Web site at www.bellinghampubliclibrary.org.


New York Pizza and Bar opening in June

Bellingham’s newest restaurant is opening the first week in June.

New York Pizza and Bar, located at 902 N. State St. next to The Green Frog Acoustic Tavern, will offer gourmet pizza, pasta and burgers for lunch and dinner. The 5,900-square-foot location is the combination of spaces that used to be Bargainica, Wingdome and one unoccupied space.

The bar and restaurant will be distinctly separate spaces, said bar manager Jabriel Donohue. The bar will occupy 2,500 square feet of the space and will serve food until closing time at 2 a.m. The restaurant features high ceilings and a roll-up wall for warm summer nights. The total space will seat 260 people.

This is the second New York Pizza and Bar to open in Whatcom County — the first was in Lynden.

For more information, call the Lynden location at (360) 318-0580 or visit www.newyorkpizzaandbar.com.


Moka Joe expands to increase storage

Moka Joe, a local coffee roaster and wholesaler, recently purchased an 1,100-square-foot warehouse and a 700-square-foot single-family home at 2121 and 2123 King St., across the alley from its location at 2118 James St.

Owner Trudy Scherting said her business was running out of space and this new warehouse, formerly owned by Van Beek Drywall, came with a rental house that supplemented the mortgage.

“I can breathe easy knowing that we do not have to pull up stakes to gain more space,” Scherting said in an e-mail.

Scherting said she closed on the property on May 11.

For more information, call (360) 714-1953.


Barron Heating opens new Ferndale complex

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning opened June 1 in the new Barron Heating complex at 5100 Pacific Highway in the Pacific Industrial Park, between West Smith and Slater roads in Ferndale. The new complex has enabled Barron Heating to move from its Bellingham location at 4176 Meridian St.

Seventy-five Barron employees will work in a 19,000-square-foot retail building and an adjacent 16,000-square-foot building that will serve as the company’s fabrication shop and warehouse.

“Our Bellingham location had served us well since 1972, but we’ve grown so much since then and we didn’t have room to expand there,” said co-owner Bill Pinkey. “The Ferndale site offers us much more space and parking, plus it’s easily accessible for Whatcom County residents and will help our installation and service crews reach customers quickly.”

Barron Heating specializes in heating and air-conditioning systems and serves residential and commercial clients in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish counties. The company also has a Mount Vernon location offering sales, service and installations.

A grand opening celebration for the new complex is planned for July.

For more information, call (360) 676-1131 or visit www.barroncomfort.com.


Brothers launch construction Web site

A new Web site, www.localbuildindex.com, is now up and running to help Whatcom County residents find local construction trades and suppliers for new construction, remodels and repairs.

The new Web site features customer reviews, ratings, discounts and photos of recent work performed by various contractors. Categories include construction supplies, tradesmen, general contractors, architects, interior design, landscaping and more.

“When a person needs anything from plumbing repairs to a new house, a simple phonebook listing doesn’t tell them much,” said Josh Hungerford, who runs the site with his brother Matt Hungerford. “Localbuildindex.com allows visitors to search for contractors and suppliers by customer ratings, years of experience, city or number of reviews.”

Both Hungerford brothers are lifelong Lynden residents and have experience in the construction industry. For more information, visit www.localbuildindex.com.


Tatango offering social media seminars

Local group texting company Tatango is offering two seminars on June 25 on how businesses can use social media sites like Facebook to reach customers. The first seminar starts at 1 p.m. and the second starts at 6 p.m.

The two-hour classes cover everything from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and e-mail marketing — and more importantly, how to use them all in conjunction to promote your business.

CEO Derek Johnson decided to start offering the monthly seminars back in April after receiving numerous questions from local businesses about how a business should use social media.

“We’re kind of the local experts on this, so we said ‘let’s answer all of these question at once,’” Johnson said. So far, 45 local businesses have attended the seminars.

For more information, call Tatango at (206) 274-6599 or visit tatango.eventbrite.com.


Golf Savings Bank chooses Fairhaven for second location

Golf Savings Bank, a bank with 30 loan offices in the Pacific Northwest, opened a second Bellingham office at 1128 Finnegan Way Suite 100 in the former Fairhaven Mortgage location. The bank has had an office at 3111 Newmarket Place Suite 101 in Barkley Village since April 2007.

Dimi Hartman, manager of the Golf office in Barkley, said the company needed a new Bellingham office because it recently hired six new loan officers, five of which came from Fairhaven Mortgage when it merged with Everett-based Homestead Mortgage in April.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to move into a great Fairhaven location,” Hartman said.

Hartman said the new 1,250-square-foot office will house four loan officers.

For more information, call (360) 527-1373 or visit www.golfsavingsbank.com.


Cuts Plus opens second location

Cuts Plus, a local no-appointment family hair care center and tanning salon, will open its second location on June 1 in the former Wavelengths Salon space at 2925 Newmarket Place Suite 104 in Barkley Village. The first location opened up next to Trader Joe’s last summer.

Owner Dennis Ferguson said the new 800-square-foot location is much smaller than the 1800-square-foot Sunnyland location, so it will have no-appointment hair cutting service, but no tanning salon.

Ferguson said the space is getting a bit of a facelift with some paint and he is excited to open in Barkley heading into the summer.

“Barkley Village is a hopping place,” he said.

For more information about Cuts Plus, call (360) 715-1040 or visit www.cuts-plus.com.


Willamette Dental plans for remodel

Willamette Dental, located at 4164 Meridian St. Suite 300, has applied for a permit to remodel its 3,500-square-foot space.

The remodel will include adding three operating rooms and adjustments to the X-ray darkroom at an estimated cost of $125,000, according to the permit application.

Willamette Dental Group has 59 offices in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Bellingham location opened in 1997.

For more information, call (800) 359-6019 or visit www.willamettedental.com.


3 Oms Yoga opening on Bay Street

Bellingham’s newest yoga studio is poised to open on the summer solstice, June 20.

Local yoga instructors Amy Robinson and Melissa Newman are joining together to open 3 Oms Yoga at 1210 Bay St. Suite 100. The Yoga Room previously occupied the 1,400-square-foot space but moved upstairs in May to Suite 200.

3 Oms Yoga will be unique in that it will offer classes in all types of yoga, from vinyasa and yin/yang yoga to power and prenatal yoga, Robinson, said.

“We’re going to have a variety of different styles and teachers, but one punch card that is good for all the classes,” Robinson said.

For more information, contact Melissa Newman at (360) 820-4784 or visit www.3omsyoga.com.


Torre Caffe expands

Torre Caffe, located at 119 N. Commercial St. Suite 130 in the Bellingham Towers, underwent a major expansion in May.

Owner Pasquale Salvati added 1,500 square feet of neighboring space to his small, 300-square-foot cafe. Along with adding seating, Salvati plans to expand his breakfast menu to lure the morning crowds.

“I need more room for groups and families and I can get another 15 people in there,” Salvati said, referring to the new space. “And I want to improve my breakfast menu. I make good breakfast sandwiches and I have the best coffee in town.”

Torre Caffe has been in its current location for four years. For more information, call Torre Caffe at (360) 734-0029.


The Keg closes

After nearly 20 years in Bellingham, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar closed its location at 3218 Fielding Ave. behind Sehome Village on May 10.

Carson Russell, dining room manager for The Keg, said the local franchise owner works very closely with the corporate office and in light of the recession, they felt closing was the best option.

“Based on the numbers, we are just not able to hit the sales we would like, so the owner has decided to close the doors,” Russell said.

For more information, call (360) 738-0275.


New site to connect residents and home service professionals

Whatcom County will soon have a new online directory to connect local residents with local home service professionals, such as plumbers and electricians.

Whatcom Service Net.com is scheduled to launch in June and hopes to be a virtual one-stop shop for local, pre-screened home service businesses.

“Our mission is to connect high-quality, reliable small businesses with a significant home on the Web, while providing Whatcom homeowners with an easy and trusted tool to find the help they need,” according to the site.

Before a business is listed on the site, it must first pass the site’s screening process, which includes: checking three work references from the last year, verifying current licensing and identity, and a background check with the Better Business Bureau as well as the state business licensing office.

The site was created by Leslie Beia, a former Bellingham small-business owner, who “intends for this site to give a helpful leg-up to small businesses in Whatcom County, while being a useful resource for our homeowners.”

For more information, please visit www.whatcomservicenet.com.


Countrywide renamed Bank of America Home Loans

The local office of Countrywide Home Loans, located at 810 Alabama St. near Trader Joe’s, is now going by the name of Bank of America Home Loans.

Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in January 2008 and is now changing its name to reflect that, said sales manager Josh Zandstra. New signs should be up soon, he said.

For more information, call Bank of America Home Loans at (360) 788-2400.


Survival Solutions moves to Meridian St.

Survival Solutions, a retail fire suppression safety and personal firearms business, is moving to 4201 Meridian St. Suite 101 behind Pro Golf Discount from its current location at 3800 Byron Ave. Suite B-10.

Jonathan Johnson, co-owner of Survival Solutions, said the business’s new 3,000-square-foot location will add some much-needed space for staff and customers used to their current 950 square feet.

“It’s a nicer, bigger space that will also give us more parking,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he hopes to be in the new space by June 1.

For more information, call (360) 738-3473 or visit www.sure2survive.com.


YOLO Coffee Company & Bistro opening in
Bellis Fair mall

Bellis Fair mall will soon have a new eatery.

Genia and Chad Gaffaney, who own the body-piercing shop Silver Safari in the mall, are set to open YOLO Coffee Company & Bistro in late June. The 1,600-square-foot restaurant is located near the kids’ play area in the Sears wing of the mall. It will be a coffee shop by day, then a beer and wine bistro by night, Genia said.

“It’s going to be a really relaxing environment,” Genia said. “My husband and I travel quite a bit and everywhere we go we critique restaurants. So we’ve taken all the details from all the places we like and used them here.”

The cafe will have a bookcase filled with books for perusal and flat screen TVs so customers can watch the game in the evening. Genia said she is also considering live acoustic music in the evenings.

For more information, call YOLO Coffee Company & Bistro at (360) 671-9656.


Charrette Studio now Price Christensen & Associates

Local architect Dave Christensen and community development consultant Steve Price have renamed their joint venture Charrette Studio to Price Christensen & Associates.

“We put together Charrette Studio to get the idea of charrettes out there in the development community,” Price said. “But we ran into a little difficulty marketing the concept of charrettes. When you’re offering a service and you have to explain what you do, that’s not good.”

A charrette is basically a collaborative planning workshop, Price said, and more people connect with that term than with the word “charrette.” The firm will still offer charrettes, just not under that name.

The change also reflects a refined mission that incorporates Christensen’s master planning skills and Price’s community development skills under the umbrella of real estate development strategy.

“In this economy, you can’t market property in the same way,” Christensen said. “A developer’s biggest fear is uncertainty, and uncertainty equates to risk. But a lot of that uncertainty is removed when you build community support.”

Price has owned Front Street Partnership for the past six years and will continue to offer some services through that firm. Likewise, Christensen will continue to offer limited services through his 20-year-old firm Christensen Design Management.

For more information, call Steve Price at (360) 319-1131.


Management Services Northwest to move to larger facility

Management Services Northwest, a full-service janitorial and facilities maintenance company, is expanding and moving to 2257 Northgate Spur in Ferndale from their current space at 6920 Salashan Pkwy, Suite D-101 inside the Grandview Industrial Park.

Terell Weg, business development associate at Management Services Northwest, is upgrading from its current 1,200-square-foot office with some shop space to a 7,000-square-foot facility, which is split in half between office and shop space.

“We are kind of squished like sardines in here right now, so it is time for us to move out and hopefully increase our productivity in the new space,” Weg said.

Currently, they are installing new flooring, painting and renovating to create a new entrance. Weg said they will move in as soon as upgrades are complete.

For more information, call (360) 366-4600 or visit www.managementservicesnorthwest.com.

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