BELLINGHAM - National retailer Burlington has officially announced it is moving into the former Meridian Cost Cutter building, filling a large retail space in north Bellingham.
In a news release, the clothing retailer announced that it plans to open a 73,000-square-foot store at 4131 Meridian St. this fall. The new store will add between 50 and 100 jobs.
In addition to its coats and discounts on clothing, the Bellingham store will offer other products, including furniture and accessories for babies at its Baby Depot department. It also will have a home décor and gift section.
Earlier this month the company submitted a building permit application to do $2.3 million in remodeling work, which includes improvements to the inside and outside of the building. Plans also call for the removal of a 6,800-square-foot mezzanine area.
Cost Cutter vacated the building last fall, and usually it's difficult to fill a building that size so quickly, said Erin Sundean, a local commercial real estate agent and owner of The Bedford Group. He noted that other large Bellingham buildings, like the ones now occupied by WinCo and Carpet Liquidators, can take years to fill.
"Things have picked up some," said Sundean, when asked about how much interest there is in vacant Bellingham retail space. He noted that Bellingham still has some challenging spaces that remain empty.
Sundean said a big new tenant that draws a lot of customer traffic can attract other similar retailers to the area, and he expects that to happen in that Meridian retail center.
This will be the ninth Burlington store in Washington state and the third opening this fall. Other stores are opening in Burlington and Union Gap. The company has more than 520 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico.