Business

Plans for major retail center move forward after Ferndale removes key project hurdle

Lummi Nation opens Fisherman’s Cove Store near ferry terminal

Lummi Bay Markets’ Fisherman’s Cove Store on Lummi View Drive near the ferry terminal will open Friday, April 19, 2019. It’s one of several economic projects in the works, according to Tim Ballew II, CEO of Lummi Commercial Company.
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Lummi Bay Markets’ Fisherman’s Cove Store on Lummi View Drive near the ferry terminal will open Friday, April 19, 2019. It’s one of several economic projects in the works, according to Tim Ballew II, CEO of Lummi Commercial Company.

A key hurdle in fully developing a proposed Lummi Nation retail center was removed by the Ferndale City Council on Monday night.

The council voted 5-1 to approve a plan relinquishing its rights to a portion of Kope Road, west of the Rural Avenue intersection. This move will allow the Lummi Nation some flexibility in its development plans for the future retail center near Interstate 5 called Salish Village. According to a news release from the Lummi Nation, this decision means four additional businesses can be built near a future fueling station and convenience store.

This decision comes on the heels of Ferndale approving a permit earlier this month to begin the first phase of construction of the retail center. Construction of the travel center, which would include car and truck fueling stations, is slated to begin this fall.

Lummi Nation Chairman Jeremiah Jay Julius said this week’s decision will not only benefit the Lummi Nation, but also Ferndale and Whatcom County.

“More room for retail shops and cafes at Salish Village means more jobs and economic activity, which will benefit all our communities,” Julius said in the news release. “We are encouraged by the improving relationship between Lummi and Ferndale.”

Kope Road west of Rural Avenue is basically an unused, dead-end street. It predates most development in the area so it was most likely originally an access road, said Riley Sweeney, spokesman for the city of Ferndale, in an email.

While the property is owned by Lummi Nation, it’s in Ferndale’s city limits.

The first phase of construction will also include modifying portions of Rural Avenue and Slater Road and installing utility and water infrastructure, Sweeney said.

Along with the first phase, Lummi Nation is looking at a variety of possibilities to develop the 160-acre property, which includes the area on the east side of Rural Avenue, near the freeway. Possible future uses include other retail, offices, a waterpark hotel and other family entertainment, according to its website.

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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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