Fairhavendeveloper buys in Blaine

Published on Thu, Aug 11, 2005 by Jack Kintner

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Fairhaven developer buys in Blaine

By Jack Kintner

Bellingham native Ken Imus purchased the former Red Apple Grocery building at 638 Peace Portal Drive last month from Dillon Schickli of Blaine. The building currently houses the Worldly Treasures furniture store.

The price was not disclosed, but the 1.1 acre property’s current assessment is $155,000 for land and buildings, according to the Whatcom County Treasurer.

Imus said he has no immediate plans for the property and that the furniture store will continue doing business as usual.

Schickli, whom Imus described as “a friend of mine,” bought the property last year and opened his Worldly Treasurers furniture business on the site in May, 2004.

Though traffic was slow at first, business manager Colin Gelker said that July was “our best month ever.”

“Local people are our bread and butter but we get a surprising number of customers from the Seattle area who are visiting and see something they like and take it home.”

Imus’s development company, the Jacaranda Corporation, has been a major force in developing the Fairhaven district in Bellingham. “We controlled something like 40 properties,” Imus said, “which gave us a level of control so we could encourage building to a certain vision as to what we felt Fairhaven could become.”

Imus suggested that a similarly unified vision could work well locally. “Blaine’s a marvelous little waterfront community,” he said, “with the waterfront right here, and Peace Portal Drive, and the proximity of White Rock. There’s a lot of potential.”

Imus has been working with city officials and along with other developers attended last fall’s downtown development charette exercise put on by Blaine community development director Terry Galvin.

“Ken has been a lightning rod,” said Galvin, “who also does creative and visionary work. We’re happy to welcome him, along with the network of developers and builders he’s worked with over the years.”
Among them is David Ebenal of Bellingham, one of the major building contractors involved in Fairhaven’s current rapid expansion and whose firm, Ebenal General, was just awarded a $1.3 million contract to begin building Blaine’s long-awaited boardwalk. Groundbreaking for that, Galvin said, “is imminent.”