BY AUBREY COHEN
THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
Bellingham developer Dave Ebenal is taking on a major role in Fairhaven.
He recently finished a residential and retail building at 1224 Harris Ave., where a skeleton of steel girders had stood since a construction project died in 1975.
Now, Ebenal has bought the Paper Dreams building in Fairhaven, the neighboring site where he is erecting a new home for Village Books, and has signed an agreement to buy the historic, but never-finished Waldron Block.
“Everybody likes Fairhaven,” Ebenal said. “It’s just a charming place to be, to shop and to have a cup of coffee.”
Ebenal bought the Paper Dreams building and neighboring bookstore site from Village Books owners Chuck and Dee Robinson on Jan. 29 for just more than $1.2 million.
The Robinsons, who originally planned to own their new building, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. They lease the space for their current bookstore from developer Ken Imus at 1210 11th St. on the south side of Paper Dreams.
The new bookstore building, which Ebenal expects to finish in September, will have four stories, including a parking garage in the bottom and two condos on top. Ebenal said the Robinsons will live in one of the condos; he doesn’t know yet what he’ll do with the other.
Developer Dave Ebenal, who is erecting a new building for Village Books, has bought the bookstore’s current home in partnership with another Fairhaven developer.
Ebenal and Mike Bradburn bought the building at 1210 11th St. from longtime Fairhaven developer Ken Imus last week for $1.25 million. The building is now home to Village Books and Colophon Café.
“We plan to keep things pretty much the same at this point,” said Wayne Weed, vice president of operations for Ebenal General, Ebenal’s construction and development company. “We will be looking the building over thoroughly for possible seismic upgrades and some structural things that may be done.”
In January, Ebenal bought the neighboring building that’s home to Paper Dreams and Village Books’ used bookstore, and the site beside that where he is building Village Books’ new home.
Ebenal recently finished a residential and retail building at 1224 Harris Ave., where a skeleton of steel girders had stood since a construction project died in 1975.
Bradburn is developing offices, stores and condos at the corner of 12th Street and Old Fairhaven Parkway.
Ebenal also has signed an agreement to buy the historic, but never-finished Waldron Block. Weed said he expects that deal will move ahead.
“We’ve got some design ideas,” he said. “Frankly you’ve got a building where you’ve got to build a new building inside of the old building.”
Reach Aubrey Cohen at Aubrey.firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-2289.
New Village Books building
- Project: New Village Books building.
- Location: Southwest corner of 12th Street and Mill Avenue.
- The plan: Four-story building with a parking garage on the bottom, a new Village Books store on the next two floors and two condos on top.
- Timeline: Under construction, expected to be done by September or October.
- Notable: Developer David Ebenal bought the site from Village Books owners Chuck and Dee Robinson after he started construction of the building. The Robinsons will live in one of the condos.
- Project: Fairhaven Gardens.
- Location: Mill Avenue, from 11th Street to 12th Street.
- The plan: About 30 condos, five offices and six retail spaces in a building that will step downhill along Mill, giving the appearance of three three-story buildings.
- Timeline: Developer David Ebenal expects to start construction in June and finish in about a year.
- Notable: The building would displace a flagpole and war memorial at the corner of 12th and Mill. Ebenal has applied for permits to build a similar memorial on city land north of the new building, by Fairhaven Library.
- Project: Fairhaven Heights.
- Location: 1201 Mill Ave.
- The plan: A wood building with underground parking, ground-floor offices below four condos.
- Timeline: Scheduled to be done late this year.
- Notable: Will go on a vacant lot a block uphill from Fairhaven Gardens.
To be remodeled
Knights of Pythias building
- Project: Knights of Pythias building.
- Location: 1210 11th St., current home of Village Books and Colophon Café.
- The plan: Six to eight luxury condos above Colophon Café and possible meeting and banquet facilities, continued operation of A Lot of Flowers at 11th Street and Harris Avenue, possibly in a new enclosed building. Village Books is moving into a new building at 11th and Mill Avenue.
- Timeline: Starting late fall or within a year of that.
Notable: Developer David Ebenal bought the building in April, two months after buying the neighboring Paper Dreams building and the adjoining site where is building Village Books’ new home. He now owns the entire west side of the block.