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Second retail development next to Bellingham Costco under environmental review

The future site of proposed retail, including a new Costco, off Bakerview Road is shown Oct. 9, 2013 in Bellingham.
The future site of proposed retail, including a new Costco, off Bakerview Road is shown Oct. 9, 2013 in Bellingham. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

The retail build-out around a proposed Costco on Bakerview Road is making progress, if only on paper.

While the city waits for Costco to apply for a building permit for its proposed 160,000-square-foot store near the Bakerview-Interstate 5 interchange, another retail development is undergoing environmental review — four buildings totaling 60,000 square feet directly east of the Costco site.

PMF Investments proposes building “Bellingham Retail Center East” at 1240 W. Bakerview Road. The same developer also is planning a 142,000-square-foot retail center immediately west of the new Costco. Applications filed with the city say PMF Investments plans to build the east retail center in 2015, to be completed by 2016.

Public comment will be accepted on the environmental review of Retail Center East until Dec. 19. Construction would require filling 1.03 acres of wetlands on the 6.26-acre site. PMF Investments would compensate for the loss of wetlands by buying into the Lummi Nation wetland bank.

The entire development, with 302 parking spaces, would be 85 percent covered by impervious surface, which would create storm runoff that must be filtered and removed from the site in a way that meets city and state standards.

The shopping center would add more than 1,000 vehicle trips a day to the area, according to application materials. The full extent of traffic improvements to be required of Costco and PMF Investments have not been determined. The developers already plan several improvements, including double left-turn lanes entering and leaving the stores’ main access road, which is still to be built and would be called Arctic Avenue.

Fred Meyer’s parent company appealed the environmental review of the new Costco, arguing that traffic impacts weren’t adequately addressed. Fred Meyer’s Bakerview store is directly across the street from the Costco site.

A hearing on the Fred Meyer appeal has been postponed indefinitely while the two retailers negotiate a settlement.

“No settlement yet, but I know they are working on getting the issues resolved,” Bellingham Deputy Administrator Brian Heinrich said in an email to The Bellingham Herald on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Another appeal of the Costco environmental review, filed by Lummi Nation, was dropped on July 30, Heinrich said.

To comment on the environmental review for Bellingham Retail Center East, email city planner Steve Sundin at ssundin@cob.org.

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Source: City of Bellingham



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