Bakerview Square signs four new tenants

While many retail centers have found it challenging to stay filled, Bakerview Square continues to sign tenants.

The retail center on West Bakerview Road, near Whatcom Community College, recently signed four tenants, two of which are already open: Beauty in the Bead Shop, which opened Saturday, Oct. 31 and Brite Smile/Brite Skin Med Spa, which moved in from Bellis Fair. Track Radio, which installs speaker systems at malls, will be moving into the center while a fourth tenant, which is in the education services industry, is expected to be announced later this month, taking about 17,000 square feet of space.

There is also the Fireside Martini and Wine Bar, which is expected to open next month.

Morgan Bartlett, developer of Bakerview Square, said the retail center has been able to build on the momentum from tenant signings before the recession hit locally last year. This is a project he’s been developing in phases for four years.

He took a bit of a different route in signing tenants, which has seemed to work for the center: Instead of signing an anchor business first, they concentrated on trying to get small- to mid-size companies.

“I feel fortunate, because we went after this backwards from what’s normally done,” Bartlett said. “I didn’t want to bank this (Bakerview) Square on one or two large tenants to make this work.”

Beauty in the Bead Shop is a new business started by ToiAnn Hanson and Linda Mercadante. The 1,100-square-foot business is next to Labels Women’s Consignment Store and offers thousands of gem stones, beads and pearls from all over the world. There is also a bead bar where customers get help matching and putting together gifts.

Hanson said they chose that spot because it’s a good location in the north part of town. It also helps that it is near several businesses that are geared toward women.

“We’ve had a great response through word-of-mouth,” Hanson said. “There are more people making gifts, trying to stretch their dollars and give something that has more meaning. There are also a lot of great local artisans around.”

The bead shop is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For details about the Beauty in the Bead Shop, call 393-4605.

This article was written by Dave Gallagher and appeared in the Bellingham Herald on November 18, 2009