Bellingham Developer Ready to Start Hotel Project on Bakerview Road

DAVE GALLAGHER – THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BELLINGHAM – A Bellingham developer is moving forward with plans to build a hotel on Bakerview Road.

Morgan Bartlett Jr. plans to file building permit applications later this week for Pacific Plaza, an 80-room hotel across the street from the Bakerview Fred Meyer retail center, near Interstate 5 and Pacific Highway.

The hotel would be the first phase of the project; Bartlett later plans to build a convention center that could have offices and a restaurant on the property.

“We were originally going to do it as one building but decided it would be better to break it into two different phases,” said Bartlett, owner of Madrona Bay Real Estate Investments in Bellingham.

The original plan three years ago was for a 15-story building that included the hotel, a convention center, a restaurant, offices and condominiums.

Although Bartlett is applying for permits this week, it may be a while before construction begins. Bartlett wants to focus on filling Bakerview Square, a retail center he’s spent four years developing.

He believes it’ll take another six months to finish signing tenants for the retail center before focusing on the hotel. He estimates the hotel project would take about 18 months to complete.

If Bartlett gets the permits approved, he will have several options. He could sell the property and have a hotel franchise develop it using the approved permits; he could build the hotel himself and lease the facility; or he could operate it himself.

“I thought it was a great location when I bought the property, being near an airport that’s growing and a high-traffic area,” said Bartlett, who has completed a traffic analysis of the area.