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Major apartment complex being planned for Bakerview area

A rendering of CityScape, which will be a 390-unit studio apartment complex that’s going in on Bakerview Road near Fred Meyer. Developer Morgan Bartlett is planning to break ground next spring with a completion date of March 2017.
A rendering of CityScape, which will be a 390-unit studio apartment complex that’s going in on Bakerview Road near Fred Meyer. Developer Morgan Bartlett is planning to break ground next spring with a completion date of March 2017. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A local developer is embarking on a major residential project he believes will add an aspect of the urban village concept to the West Bakerview Road area.

Morgan Bartlett announced plans to build a 390-unit apartment complex at 1427 W. Bakerview Road, across the street from the Fred Meyer retail center and near the proposed Costco store. Called CityScape, each unit will be a studio apartment in three buildings over a three-level parking garage, Bartlett said. A fitness center and a restaurant or bar is also planned for the property

Bartlett plans to meet with the city soon to go over the plans and start the permitting process. He is planning to break ground next spring and have people moving in around March 2017.

Five years ago Bartlett had planned to put a hotel on that property but decided to hold off when he heard about all the other hotels going into that area. As the area evolved and apartment vacancy rates remained very low in Bellingham, he decided what the area needed was more residential housing to create an urban village concept.

“I’m exciting to be bringing an upscale complex to the area to blend in with what’s already going in,” Bartlett said. “This is not your typical apartment complex.”

Bartlett decided to go with studio units to have a nice interior for relatively low rent. He expects the units to go for around $795 a month and be attractive for a variety of demographics, from those attending nearby Whatcom Community College to retired couples.

Another feature is that tenants will be within walking distance to many different retail stores. With Costco going in along with a couple of retail centers next to the retailer, Bartlett estimates tenants could walk to more than 500,000 square feet of retail space, which is about two-thirds the size of Bellis Fair.

Bartlett said the project will have several eco-friendly features, including plug-in stations for electric vehicles and bike racks. Being close to stores should help with vehicle traffic in the area if tenants walk.

Bartlett is in the process of selecting a general contractor, while Madrona Bay Investments will handle the development and RPM will manage the property. Details can be found at madronabayllc.com.

Reach Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BhamHeraldBiz and on Facebook at BellinghamHeraldBusiness.

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