Second condo building ready on Semiahmoo waterfront

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 15, 2013 

MarinCondos

Sales manager Matt Rollins shows customer Linda Madsen of Kodiak, Alaska, the new Marin condominiums on Semiahmoo Spit in Blaine, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The grand opening for 18 new units is Saturday.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BLAINE - After nearly falling victim to the real estate bubble bust, a residential waterfront project is ready for buyers.

On Saturday, May 18, officials at the Marin condominiums will host a grand opening sale for residential units in Building B, which was recently completed.

The 18-unit building was only about half finished when the property was foreclosed on by Seattle Bank about three years ago. In June 2012, Florida-based Patten Real Estate bought the property, which included a nearly finished Building A, for $7 million. Building A was finished last August.

The company has spent about eight months finishing Building B, adding a variety of amenities, including radiant-heated floors and large windows for the unobstructed beachfront views. It is situated near the now-closed Semiahmoo hotel and looks out over Semiahmoo Bay.

Sales of units have been steady, even after the announced closure of the hotel last fall, said Joseph O'Brien, managing partner of the company's western division. The company already has signed agreements for two units in Building B; units in that building start in the low $500,000 range.

The owners potentially could put a third building on the property, but that decision hasn't been made yet, according to O'Brien.

Whatcom County condominium sales have bounced back in the first part of 2013. Through the first four months of this year, real estate agents have sold 96 condos locally, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. That's up 39.1 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

O'Brien said owners were initially concerned when they heard about the hotel closure, but he said buyers have been drawn to the uniqueness of the property, particularly the proximity to the water without railroad tracks nearby. They've noticed an uptick in interest for higher-end property across the U.S.

O'Brien doesn't expect Semiahmoo to remain vacant.

"It's too valuable a piece of property to remain empty," he said.

Of the sales at Marin to date, he estimates 80 percent are to U.S. citizens, with the other 20 percent to Canadians. Typically, the buyers are people who want a second home or a retirement residence.

The open house runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18. Details can be found at liveatmarin.com or by calling 888-996-2746.

Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2269.

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