Work has begun on two significant community projects for the Lummi Nation

Work has begun on two big Lummi Nation projects.

The first phase of construction began last month for the Lummi Nation Community Park at the corner of Slater Road and Axton Way, across from the Silver Reef Casino Resort. This phase will have two baseball fields, parking, trails and landscaping. The community park is on seven acres.

Closer to Interstate 5, construction prep work is under way for a travel center, which will include car and truck fueling stations and a convenience store on Rural Avenue near Slater Road. It’s the first phase of a future retail center called Salish Village.

Along with the first phase of Salish Village, Lummi Nation is looking at several possibilities to develop the 160-acre property. Ideas being considered include retail, offices, a waterpark hotel and other family entertainment.

The project has had to overcome a variety of hurdles to get started, including Ferndale relinquishing Kope Road west of Rural Avenue. That portion of Kope Road was an unused, dead-end street.

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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.