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For sale: Downtown Bellingham parking spots, benches included

Ryan Wynne of Bellingham enjoys his lunch outside at a parklet on May 15, 2013, outside of Dashi Noodle Bar in Bellingham. Dashi Noodle Bar maintains the parklet and covers parking fees for the parking spots it filled.
Ryan Wynne of Bellingham enjoys his lunch outside at a parklet on May 15, 2013, outside of Dashi Noodle Bar in Bellingham. Dashi Noodle Bar maintains the parklet and covers parking fees for the parking spots it filled. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Bellingham's lone mini-park in the downtown area is up for sale - hardwood decking, benches and planters included.

In honor of PARK(ing) Day on Friday, Sept. 20, Sustainable Connections is putting the city's lone parklet - an on-street parking spot turned miniature park - up for sale. Already in its second location since being built in 2011, the parklet is listed by Hoppis Real Estate at $3,750. The price includes moving and permit assistance.

Proceeds from the sale will go to future “Bike Parking Corrals” in downtown Bellingham, according to Sustainable Connections, which led the pilot parklet project.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual event where citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary, but very small, public parks. In the summer of 2012, Sustainable COnnections installed a temporary parklet in front of La Fiamma Pizza at 200 E. Chestnut St. The parklet later moved to Dashi Noodle Bar, 1311 N. State St.

The parklet, crafted locally by Bellingham Bay Builders, Atility Art Studio, and Plantas Nativa, takes up a single parking space. Proponents say the parklet's seating also could provide additional outdoor space for any business with a wider sidewalk.

"It's been a really fun project and we'd love to see more businesses go in on one or buy the existing one," said Rose Lathrop, Green Building and Smart Growth Program manager for Sustainable Connections. The pilot project "brought a public open space for people to hang out, which there was not a lot of in downtown Bellingham."

The move is part of a bigger push by the city of Bellingham to offer businesses a chance to convert street parking to a parklet, for a price. A new owner would have to apply for a temporary right-of-way use permit to install the small park and pay to cover the parking fees for the space it's occupying (about $6 a day, excluding weekends and holidays).

"The feedback about the experimental parklet was really positive," said Darby Cowles, the city's project manager for the Downtown Plan. "We are now excited to roll out an official parklet program for all downtown businesses."

 For further information, contact Cowles at 360-778-8389 before submitting an application. 

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