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Bellingham Commercial Real Estate Information

Bellingham is the largest market for commercial real estate, north of Snohomish County. For retail and office space there are four major areas located within the City of Bellingham: Downtown, Cordata, Sunset, and Fairhaven. For industrial space, the primary locations in Bellingham are the Irongate Industrial Area and the Cordata Business Industrial Park.

Infrastructure for the Bellingham Commercial Real Estate Market

Bellingham has a robust infrastructure available to businesses. Bellingham features an international airport, deepwater marine port, railway system, and fiber optic internet. The Bellingham International Airport provides commercial flights, business services including air cargo, and US Customs. The BNSF railway runs north to south through Whatcom County and provides rail service throughout North America.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this listing has not been verified by Windermere Real Estate/Whatcom, Inc. DBA North Sound Commercial and should be verified by the buyer.

Bellingham Primary Trade Area (population 216,800)

Bellingham’s primary trade area serves a population of 216,800, which includes Bellingham’s city population of 83,580 (2015) and an addition population of 133,220 Whatcom County residents based on natural barriers and a lack of retail options.

Bellingham Secondary Trade Area (population 550,000)

The secondary trade area of Bellingham serves a population of 550,000 which includes the lower mainland of British Columbia including Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and Abbotsford as well as a population of 100,000 from Skagit Valley. Canadian retail tourism is strong in Bellingham’s trade area with over 9,122,000 passengers crossing the border from Canada into Bellingham in 2016.

Retail, Office, and Industrial Market Statistics

One of the best ways for a business or investor to determine what direction the market is headed is by looking at where the market has been. At North Sound Commercial, we track market statistics in Bellingham and the surrounding markets to keep us up to date with the market and so we can help educate you to make informed decisions.

Bellingham Retail Market Statistics (2018 YTD)

How much retail space exists within the Bellingham market? There are over 450 retail buildings and over 7,400,000 square feet. That may seem like a lot of retail space in a market the size of Bellingham, but with a 2018 vacancy rate of 3.3% it may not be enough. The retail market in Bellingham can be heavily influenced by the Canadian dollar. When the Canadian dollar is on par with the US dollar, the retail market screams in Bellingham. Given historical data, the breaking point appears to be around $0.80 on the US dollar for when the Canadian retail influence begins to diminish and the Bellingham commercial real estate market begins to feel it.

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245,907 319,545
246,334
18.9

Bellingham Office Market Statistics (2018 YTD)

The trends in office space usage has changed over the last decade. Office tenants are not only demanding more open space and different types of layouts than before, but they also want more flexibility with their lease. This change in treads has created many older styled offices to be less desirable and with new office tenants wanting shorter lease terms, this would appear to be perfect storm for a disaster, but the statistics suggest otherwise. The current vacancy rate for office space in Bellingham is only 4.5%, which is well down from the 5 year average of 10.2%.

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97,702 226,682
7.3

Bellingham Industrial Market Statistics (2018 YTD)

The industrial building market in Bellingham is a perfect example of how statistics can sometimes be misleading and not tell the whole story. According to the statistics the current vacancy rate for industrial space is 9.2%, which is slightly below the 5 year average of 9.9% vacancy. That means of the 3,800,000+ square feet of industrial building space in the Bellingham market, there is a little over 300,000 square feet that are vacant. This is true, however nearly all of the industrial space that is vacant is owned by the Port of Bellingham and has use restrictions requiring that the tenants either be marine related, or be on a short term lease in the event a marine related business needs the space. This anomaly causes a skew in our Bellingham commercial real estate market statistics. The actual vacancy rate for industrial space in Bellingham is closer to 2% or 3%, which is the least desirable space that is left over. This is a market that is prime for new inventory and development.

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213,949
8.2