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Your Views On Bellingham’s Waterfront Project

We wanted to hear from you, area residents and visitors, about plans for Bellingham’s waterfront development, along with the new Waypoint Park, the first phase of the plan. Over the course of a few days in mid-May, we interviewed people on the street and those looking through the fence at the park, which had yet to open. Some of your comments were listed in the July issue of Bellingham Alive, but here’s more of what you had to say:


Geoff Landis

Name: Geoff Landis
Age: 63
Residence: Fairhaven

What are your thoughts on the waterfront project?

A: I’ve been seeing the construction and I was wondering why they had to bring in fill when the whole thing is on fill.

How do you think it will impact Bellingham?

A: It’s probably a good thing overall to develop that empty area.

Do you have any worries?

A: Not really. I’d just like to see all the entities (Western Washington University, the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham) get along and stay with their consensus.

What do you want to see there?

A: We’ve got to have a new waterfront brewery. And I hope the businesses that go in are thoughtful decisions.


 

 

JD Sinclair

Name: JD Sinclair
Age: 59
Residence: Bellingham

How long have you lived in Bellingham?

A: I’m going to say since 1979.

What are your expectations for the Waterfront Development?

A: Expectations would be certainly common use for the city as a park-like environment. Expectations, I’d like to see as much use of the park for outdoor type of uses. [I would like] access to the water, access to the beach for a lot of people closer into town. Not so much building, not so much apartments. I would like to see that open as a really nice useful area for outdoor access.

Are you excited for the new development?

A: I am very excited for it. It’s great to get GP out of there.

How do you think it’s going to change Bellingham?

A: I think it will continue to put more of a focus on outdoor lifestyle for Bellingham residents. It will give people a place close into town to get down to the water and appreciate where we live.


 

Roy O’Gelder

Name: Roy O’Gelder
Age: 64
Residence: Bellingham

How long have you lived in Bellingham?

A: I lived in Bellingham until 1976.

What are your expectations for the Waterfront Development?

A: It’s a singular opportunity. I mean, where else can you get that much waterfront acreage available for who knows what? I would expect mixed use, I would expect the university to have some sort of access. I would expect commercial, maybe some residential, a park. I think it’s important that they also not push out the shipbuilding or the shipping parts. That’s industry and those are good jobs and this place needs jobs. There’s enough space there that there ought to be a way to come to some sort of a mixed-use opportunity there.

Are you excited for the new development?

Oh absolutely. I mean again, where else do you look to see that kind of opportunity for a waterfront development? It’s damn near unique.

How do you think it’s going to change Bellingham?

A: Oh, you see Bellingham has changed immensely. I barely recognize it from when I left in 1976. When I was here this was an attractive town that happened to have a college in it and the attractive stuff is mostly gone. The lumber is still here a little bit and the fishing is down from what it was. The industry here is vastly reduced and I think in the future it’s an opportunity maybe to not so much change Bellingham. I think it’s an opportunity to cement in place what Bellingham is now. From the outside it looks like a much more diverse economy. It’s an attempt to leverage all those advantages. I don’t know that it’s going to be a long-term magnet per se. I think it’s going to tend to be an augmenting of a lot of things, and I think that is the best for Bellingham. I think it’s got to be able to leverage that development opportunity. If you can make that work across a lot of different spectrums like commercial, industrial, residential, education, I think you have a winner.

""I think it will continue to put more of a focus on outdoor lifestyle for Bellingham residents. It will give people a place close into town to get down to the water and appreciate where we live." -- JD Sinclair"