Two major student housing projects near Western Washington University are on track to be finished on time, giving the area a major influx of units in the next 18 months.
The former Seventh-day Adventist Church on North Forest Street was demolished earlier this month to make way for Gather Bellingham, a 145-unit, 423-bed facility geared toward college students.
Bellingham’s Dawson Construction has started site work on the facility and it should be ready by the fall of 2017, said Karah Rathmell, director of marketing and communication for Rael Development Corp. The privately held real estate company involved in the project has corporate offices in California and Texas.
The Gather Bellingham facility will offer fully furnished rooms that are leased to students by the bed. It also will have a rooftop deck, a fitness center and a private courtyard.
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Details about other projects the company has done can be found at gatherliving.com.
Another project that is nearing completion is North by Northwest on Lincoln Street, just south of the Fred Meyer store on Lakeway Drive. That project will have seven buildings that will house up to 648 students in 248 units. Lease applications are being accepted for the fall of 2016.
Having these two projects should help take pressure off the extremely low vacancy rate around the university and in Bellingham. According to an apartment survey done in the fall of 2015 by the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington, Whatcom County’s apartment vacancy rate was 0.2 percent.