Business

Granary Building filling up as another business makes plans for the first floor

Here’s what’s happening on Bellingham’s waterfront

The Port of Bellingham and Harcourt, an Ireland-based developer, have completed several projects on the 137 acres of waterfront property. The port took ownership of the Georgia-Pacific land in 2005 in exchange for taking on its environmental cleanup.
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The Port of Bellingham and Harcourt, an Ireland-based developer, have completed several projects on the 137 acres of waterfront property. The port took ownership of the Georgia-Pacific land in 2005 in exchange for taking on its environmental cleanup.

Another local company is getting ready to move into the waterfront’s Granary Building.

Arboretum Coffee of Bellingham recently signed an agreement to take a space on the first floor of the remodeled structure near Waypoint Park.

The company will be taking about 600 square feet of space and is expected to be ready late this summer or early fall, said Ed Onishchenko, who is partnering with Aleksey Kashubin on this business. The plan is to use recycled materials to create a rustic themed cafe, offering award-winning coffee from around the world before eventually starting their own brand.

Kashubin said in an interview they want the cafe to be a place where customers can hang out and have different coffee experiences with a regular rotation of great brands. They will also have pour-over events and an espresso bar. The name is a tip-of-the-hat to Bellingham’s Sehome Arboretum.

The cafe will also have a small oven, allowing them to offer a small food menu. They plan on being open early in the morning for commuters and throughout the day to cater to park-goers.

Onishchenko said he’s been interested in the building since it was first being remodeled, peeking through the windows to see the wood beams.

“I wouldn’t want to do something like this anywhere else,” Onishchenko said in an interview.

Kashubin agreed, adding that he loves the rustic feel of the building and how much of the original building was kept in place during the remodel.

Arboretum is the latest in a steady stream of signings at the Granary Building. Earlier this month Everson’s Good To Go Meat Pies and a new meadery called Artizem announced plans to go into the building. A yoga studio is already in the building, while work is also being done to put in a beauty salon.

Other types of businesses showing interest in the property include breweries, eateries and kayak rental companies, said Chris Erdmann of Bellwether Real Estate and the leasing agent for the Granary Building.

In other waterfront news, at a May 7 Port Commission meeting, Harcourt’s Max Duffy provided an update on some of the other projects happening at the Waterfront District.

Next up in Harcourt’s plans is the three residential buildings next to Waypoint Park and the Whatcom Waterway.

The condominium project is in the permit process now, but it appears the start of construction won’t happen until the end of 2019. It’s a two-year construction project, so move-in time is around the end of 2021 said Duffy, who works in the company’s business development office.

The buildings will have a 94 residential units and 30,000 square feet of commercial space. The residential units will be upper-end: A one-bedroom, 850-square-foot unit will be priced around $350,000. A two-bedroom will be in the $650,000 range and a three-bedroom penthouse will run about $1 million. The Port of Bellingham is also working on some affordable housing units on other parts of the waterfront district.

The Gateway Office building is in the design stage. The building would be built near the Granary Building and Duffy said that right now they are planning for 150,000 square feet of office space along with 300 parking spaces.

The Boardmill Hotel is also in the design stage. Harcourt is planning for it to have 208 rooms and be home to an 800-person capacity conference center.

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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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