Next phase of Cordata development in Bellingham to start by end of year

Developers are preparing to build 79 apartments in the next phase of West Cordata Green on June Road.

Groundbreaking at June Road Meadows could happen around Thanksgiving, said project manager Devon Gilliland of the RJ Group, a Bellingham-based development firm.

The RJ Group filed a building permit application with the city on Sept. 3 for the apartment complex’s 3,314-square-foot community center. Permit applications for the 14 residential buildings will follow in the coming weeks, Gilliland said.

Plans show apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms. The 79 units are the first phase of what will eventually be a 174-unit apartment complex.

June Road Meadows is only part of a larger overall project called West Cordata Green, between Aldrich Road and Fuchsia Drive on June Road. Construction has already begun on 83 condominiums south of June Road. The condominiums are built as single-family residences on individual lots.

These so-called “airspace condominiums” combine the higher-density development sought by city planners and the traditional single-family houses preferred by many who are shopping for homes.

“It’s an interesting concept,” Gilliland said. “It’s a way to do single-family-style development.”

In a phase to come after the June Road Meadows apartments, the RJ Group and property owner Rob Janicki plan to build another 77 single-family condominiums north of June Road.

Work on West Cordata Green began after the developer and the city reached an agreement in May 2013 on how the project should be built. The discussions were complicated by the fact that the original proposal was approved by Whatcom County, before the land was annexed into the city. The county’s standards for road width and wetland protection aren’t as strict as Bellingham’s.

As part of the settlement, the developer agreed to make room for a trail from the south end of the project, north to Cordata Elementary School.