Business

Development is almost as big as Costco, and could be right next door

A rendering of the proposed Pacific Place commercial project on Mahogany Avenue near Costco. The proposal calls for five buildings for commercial, retail or storage use.
A rendering of the proposed Pacific Place commercial project on Mahogany Avenue near Costco. The proposal calls for five buildings for commercial, retail or storage use. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A proposed project near Costco will bring commercial, retail and storage facilities in five buildings.

The RJ Group is hosting a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 to introduce Pacific Place. The meeting will be held at Whatcom Community College’s Foundation Building, room 105, at 333 Calluna Court.

The proposed development would be built along the newly constructed Mahogany Avenue, on the west side of Costco. The goal is to provide some space for businesses that want to be near Costco, as well as provide storage units for the local residents who will live in smaller, more-dense neighborhoods, according to the public meeting notice. The total square footage of the five buildings is around 130,000 square feet. By comparison, the nearby Costco building’s square footage is 162,000 square feet.

With several big residential projects taking place nearby, including apartments, there will be a need for nearby storage space, said Carrie Veldman, project manager at The RJ Group, in an interview. She believes one of the buildings will be popular for service-retail businesses, like cafes, to capture some of the residential traffic. One building will probably be home to a storage facility while the others could have a variety of commercial uses.

The RJ Group’s residential projects in the area are progressing, Veldman said. A 37-townhome project on Mahogany Avenue is expected to be in the vertical construction phase soon, while a large, multi-family project is expected to get started this summer. When built out, Aurora Court will have around 330 single-family homes and 174 apartment units, along with a neighborhood park and trails.

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Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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