Archive for December, 2012
Custom Closets & Bedrooms, currently at 4073 Hannegan Road, is moving into a new nearby space. On Wednesday, Jan. 2, the plan is to be in the Walkers Carpet One Floor & Home facility at 2425 E. Bakerview Road. Owner Mike Buchholz said the move is a good fit for his business, which has similar clients. The Walkers building has about 8,500 square feet of space and Custom Closets will be in the northeast corner.
“One advantage is that by combining the businesses into one building, this will become more of a one-stop shop for customers,” Buchholz said.
The business will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, and remain closed through the end of the month before reopening in the new space on Jan. 2.
Buchholz started the business 22 years ago in Laurel, then moved it into Hannegan Square 17 years ago. It focuses on closet organizers, home offices, Murphy wall beds and garage cabinetry. For more information, call 360-738-9121 or visit closetsandbedrooms.com.
Below is a breakdown of the three-day community preview event hosted by Regal Entertainment Group at its new Barkley movie theater. More than 23,500 moviegoers attended the $2 ticket days, with proceeds going to local charities:
$97,000 is being donated to local charities:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County = $30,000 donation
Extend a Hand = $ 29,000 donation
Bellingham Food Bank = $ 38,000 donation
“We at Regal recognize that a movie theater is a special gathering place for the community. It’s a place where people come together. That’s why we took the opportunity during this grand opening to give back to the community while letting crowds of moviegoers come experience the all-new Regal Barkley Village Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX,” said Rachel Lueras, Regal Entertainment Group Marketing Manager, in a news release.
First-run films include The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in both the RPX and IMAX formats.
The Regal Treatment – Enjoy free popcorn & soft drinks with paid admission Dec. 14- Dec. 20.
Additional details are available at REGmovies.com/grand-openings.
A well-known vacant waterfront restaurant space may reopen this spring.
Jeff Holmes, a co-owner of a Poulsbo restaurant called The Loft at Latitude 47.7, intends to take over the former Bayside Café space at 1801 Roeder Ave., on Squalicum Harbor. The deal is contingent on approval of a lease transfer by Port of Bellingham commissioners at its Tuesday, Dec. 18 meeting.
The proposal before the commission is to assign the current Bayside lease to Holmes’ company, Latitude Restaurants Bellingham Inc., and to extend the lease to December 2017, with three five-year renewal periods. The rent to the port over the first five years is about $343,580.
If the lease transfer is approved, the company plans to start hiring soon for a possible April reopening. The company plans to have a staff of 50 to 60 employees during the peak season.
Holmes noted in a Port of Bellingham news release that the company is in the process of choosing between different concept alternatives for the restaurant. He plans to have a new name and bring a new look to the restaurant.
“Our overall philosophy is to provide menu items made from fresh ingredients, locally provided when available,” Holmes said in the news release. “Food should look and taste great. We are an alternative to the world of frozen and processed food.”
Holmes is scheduled to attend the Tuesday port meeting to discuss his plans for renovating and updating the restaurant. Holmes and a group of other investors renovated the Poulsbo restaurant, and hope to use that experience for this Bellingham project.
“This is an excellent waterfront location and we have heard from so many people about how much they want another restaurant here,” said Shirley McFearin the port’s real estate development manager. “We are pleased the owners of the Bayside found a purchaser who already understands this type of business and has experience undertaking a restaurant renovation.
The Bayside Café, which opened in 1994, shut down suddenly in October. It had been operated by Jim Brown and his son, Mitch.
Here’s a news release from the Port of Bellingham:
At their regular Commission meeting on Tuesday (Dec.18), Port of Bellingham Commissioners will consider a proposal for the Port to spend $4.1 million to purchase as 36,000-square-foot office building at Bellwether on the Bay.
Bayview Center is owned by Bellwether Harbor Investments, LLP, a group of investors led by local developer Andre Molnar, which purchased the Hotel Bellwether and the office building from Peter Paulsen in 2007. The building, including the small kiosk in front of it, was constructed in 2001 by Paulsen, who also built the hotel.
“Bellwether Harbor Investment LLP’s main focus is the operation of the Hotel Bellwether,” Molnar said. “We believe that the Port of Bellingham is better equipped and prepared to operate the office complexes at Bellwether on the Bay, hence enhancing the success of this beautiful waterfront development.”
IMCO General Construction of Ferndale was awarded two contracts to work on a water pipeline project.
The two contracts on the Tulalip Indian Tribe’s project is valued at more than $8.5 million, according to a news release from the company.
The project involves installing several pipelines and that will connect to the City of Everett water system to the Tulalip Tribe’s system. Both projects are expected to take five months to complete.
IMCO offers a variety of services, including heavy civil construction and industrial projects. For details, visit imcoconstruction.com.
Two local agencies will be joining forces at the beginning of the year to continue work in economic development and regional transportation planning.
On Wednesday, Dec. 12 the Whatcom Council of Governments accepted a request by the Northwest Economic Council to merge as of Jan. 1, 2013. The two agencies will retain the same names, with the economic council moving into WCOG’s offices at 314 E. Champion St. in Bellingham.
The Northwest Economic Council was established as a way to bring the private, public and non-profit sectors together to grow the county’s economy. The Council of Governments is a group of Whatcom County’s elected officials to address issues that impact multiple communities. It focuses on regional transportation.
According to a news release, one reason for COG’s decision to absorb the economic council was influenced in part by its earlier deicison to assume responsibility for updating the county’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The CEDS has not been thoroughly updated since it was adopted in 2002.
Along with being involved with the CEDS update, this merger also means more potential input from the private sector on transportation planning, said Bob Wilson, executive director of WCOG.
This merger continues what has been a year of change for local economic development and planning agencies. Earlier this year Western Washington University announced it was closing the Center of Economic Vitality and expand its Small Business Development Center.
Also earlier this year, the Whatcom Business Alliance formed. It’s a privately funded group that has the goal of improving the local business climate.
According to a recently submitted building permit application, the Soy House, which has a Vietnamese restaurant at Bakerview Square, wants to make some tenant improvements to the former Boss Tweed building at 400 W. Holly St.
I’ll try to track down the details. If the Soy House does open a restaurant there, it’ll be the first sit-down eatery in that spot since Boss Tweed closed in 2007. For a time, it had been used as a catering facility.
UPDATE: I talked to Tam Bratt (her brother, Tony Nguyen, owns the Soy House), who said the former Boss Tweed facility will be a second location for Soy House. If all goes as expected, they plan to have the downtown restaurant open in the late spring or early summer. The downtown location will have a similar menu but almost four times more space and possibly some outdoor seating.
The Merry Mix & Mingle Holiday Fair is under way at the Best Western Lakeway Inn.
A group of local vendors are selling a variety of health and beauty products until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The event is free to the public and door prizes, including a dinner for two at Poppe’s, will be given away.
BELLINGHAM – Clarence “Gabe” Gabriel has stepped down as president and CEO of Haggen Inc. and is being replaced by three experienced members of the grocery company’s management team.
Gabriel’s resignation letter was accepted by the Haggen board of directors on Friday, Dec. 7 and was relayed to employees of the company, said Clement Stevens, who is part of a three-person leadership team that will take on Gabriel’s duties. The newly created “office of president” position will consist of Stevens, John Turley and Ron Stevens (no relation to Clement Stevens).
Clement Stevens didn’t elaborate on why Gabriel resigned, except to say he will be missed as he pursues other opportunities. Attempts to reach Gabriel were unsuccessful.
“Gabe spent a lot of hours with the company developing the Northwest Fresh brand, an idea that we will continue to bring to customers,” Stevens said.
The new leaders of the company have different areas of expertise within the Haggen company. Clement Stevens is the company’s senior vice president of merchandising; Turley is the chief operating officer and Ron Stevens is the chief financial officer and chief information officer.
Clement Stevens noted that their jobs will remain similar as they take on this office of president position. He said customers shouldn’t notice a difference as a result in the change of leadership.
Haggen is in the midst of rebranding its stores with the Northwest Fresh brand, which is meant to better reflect the community with “store within a store” specialty shops, a new look inside and a focus on northwest products. The rebranding began last year and has included its Bellingham stores; the Sehome Village Haggen will celebrate its remodel with an event on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Ferndale is the last Haggen store left in Whatcom County to go through the remodel.
Headquartered in Bellingham, Haggen is one of the largest private companies in Washington. It has 28 stores in Washington and Oregon. While the Haggen family still has a minority interest in the company, the investment firm Comvest Group purchased a majority stake in the company in February 2011.
Here’s a news release from Faber about its upcoming anniversary:
Faber Construction, providing Western Washington with quality buildings, homes and site work since 1987, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an open house Thursday, Dec. 13.
Appetizers and beverages will be offered from 4-7 p.m. in Faber Construction’s main office at 131 E. Grover St., Lynden.