Business

Bellingham buildings demolished as work will soon begin on major residential project

State Street buildings demolished for this project

Demolition continues Monday, April 22, 2019, in preparation for the Stateside project in Bellingham, Wash., which includes building two six-story, mixed-use buildings with 4,151 square feet of commercial space and 164 apartments for 513 people.
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Demolition continues Monday, April 22, 2019, in preparation for the Stateside project in Bellingham, Wash., which includes building two six-story, mixed-use buildings with 4,151 square feet of commercial space and 164 apartments for 513 people.

Demolition work has begun on a downtown property that will eventually be home to hundreds of college students.

Crews were knocking down buildings at 903-929 N. State St. on Monday, April 22 to make way for Stateside. The seven-story residential buildings will have 513 beds, 4,000 square feet of commercial space and a public area that connects to the South Bay Trail, according to building permits and a news release from developers Laird Norton Properties and Spectrum Development Solutions.

Traffic was down to one lane on North State Street near the East Laurel Street intersection Monday, with signs indicating limited parking in the area through May 3. Construction is expected to start in early summer and be finished by the fall of 2021. Mithun is handling the architecture and landscaping work, while Bellingham-based Exxel Pacific is the general contractor.

Prior to building permit approval, there was some public debate about how many parking spaces should be on-site. The developers received approval for 100 car parking spots after it offered to provide a variety of other options, including 392 bike spaces. Most of the housing units are expected to be used by Western Washington University students.

“Demand for car ownership is decreasing in our cities as more and more people embrace walking, cycling, car-sharing and as our mass transit options continue to improve,” said Gabe Grant, principal at Spectrum, in the news release. “Bellingham is at the beginning of that evolution, poised to be a model for other mid-sized cities, and we are proud to play a role.”

Stateside will consist of two buildings with a mid-block public connection to the South Bay Trail. The four murals painted on the former buildings by Yale Wolf have been salvaged and will be reinstalled along the trail. A new, fifth mural will be painted by Wolf.

The developers will also be seeking LEED Silver and Fitwel certifications for environmental- and health-friendly design.

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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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