Bellis Fair celebrates its new look heading into holiday shopping season

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 9, 2013 

Bellis Fair Mall

Mall walkers Pat Vogel, left, and Lee Christofferson watch the news in front of the fireplace in the newly remodeled Bellis Fair food courtyard in Bellingham, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. "It's beautiful," Vogel said.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

Bellis Fair is nearing the end of its major remodel and is starting to gear up for a celebration.

The Bellingham mall is planning to have a grand re-opening celebration on Friday, Nov. 22. At 10 a.m. that day mall officials will give gift bags to the first 500 people through the main entrance doors by the movie theater. They will have other gift prizes and live entertainment.

The multimillion-dollar remodel was announced this past spring, and construction crews have spent months giving the mall more of a Pacific Northwest look. That includes new lighting and paint, as well as a fireplace and a large video wall in the food court. Culp Construction of California was the general contractor, but about 85 percent of the subcontractors were local companies, said Jean Marohn, marketing coordinator for Bellis Fair.

Along with celebrating the completion of the remodel, Bellis Fair is also marking its 25th anniversary.

The celebration also comes at a time when the holiday shopping season is starting to heat up. A wide variety of seasonal holiday stores are either open or will soon open. The ones that are now open include Go! Calendars, See's Candy, Hickory Farms, Sportula, Puzzle Lights, Toy Land, Polar X Ornaments and Sheepskin Gifts. In the food court, TCBY is planning to open Friday, Nov. 15.

For the main portion of the mall, Black Friday kicks off at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29. Some of the anchor tenants will open their doors Thanksgiving evening.

Even though the remodel is nearly complete, Bellis Fair isn't done making changes. Marohn said they are working on deals to bring in several new tenants in 2014. The mall isn't ready to announce what those tenants are, but Marohn did say they've had a lot of interest from national tenants looking to enter the market. She noted that more national retailers are looking at the Pacific Northwest, particularly since many have either entered or are thinking about entering the Canadian market.

HANNEGAN FARM AND HOME LOOKING FOR HELP

After nearly two years in business, Matthew Aamot is making plans to close Hannegan Farm and Home.

He plans on closing the store within the next three weeks but is making one final plea to see if someone is willing to take over ownership.

"I'd love to see someone with deeper pockets come in and give it a try. I'd be happy to render any assistance that I can, but at this time it just isn't possible for me to continue," Aamot said in a message through Facebook, adding that the time has come for him to stop digging a deeper hole financially.

The store, which is at 6931 Hannegan Road (at Hinote's Corner), offers a wide variety of products including livestock feed and gardening equipment. It also has become known for its chickens. For details on the company, visit its Facebook page or call 360-389-5268.

OTHER TIDBITS

- On Thursday, Nov. 14, the Fairhaven shopping district will be donating 10 percent of its collective sales to 20 Whatcom County nonprofits during the inaugural Fairhaven Gives Back event. Twenty local nonprofits were selected by lottery to be part of this event. During the event, customers making purchases will be asked to designate one of the nonprofits on a checklist provided. ... A tenant improvement application was submitted to convert a space at 23 Bellwether Way, Suite 101, into an art studio.

- A permit was issued by the city to convert a former office space at 1305 Fraser St., Suite 101, into a fitness studio for Pro Fitness Northwest.

- Bellingham-based Grizzly Industrial recently launched a new website for gun enthusiasts. Bullets.com is a division of Grizzly, offering more than 8,000 shooting-related products. Shiraz Balolia, president of Bullets.com, has been competing on the national and international level with the U.S. F-Class Open Rifle team for the past six years.

Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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