April 18, 2024

Housing Finance Development

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Huge housing, commercial project moves forward in Blaine

Plants float on a lake on the Grandis Pond development site in Blaine. The land is expected to be the site of 992 residential units with much of the acreage being preserved for wildlife habitat and usable open space.

Plants float on a lake on the Grandis Pond development site in Blaine. The land is expected to be the site of 992 residential units with much of the acreage being preserved for wildlife habitat and usable open space.

Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A 992-unit housing and commercial development proposed in Whatcom County is getting closer to construction after nearly twenty years of planning.

Harbor Custom Development, the real estate company leading the development in Blaine, announced earlier this month that the project is expected to receive engineering approval for the first phase of the development by the end of 2023.

Grandis Pond is a planned community on 438 acres along H Street Road on the Washington-Canada border. The entire project is expected to have 872 single-family lots, 120 multi-family units and about ten acres of commercial space.

The first phase includes:

119 acres of development.

387 single-family lots each averaging about 6,000 square feet.

23 acres of usable open space.

22 acres of wildlife corridors.

Requests for comment from Blaine Community Development Services and the Blaine city manager were not returned. But former Blaine City Manager Michael Jones told The Bellingham Herald in 2020 that, from an economic standpoint, adding this much housing in one section of the city will be a big deal.

The project is designed to attract local retirees, young families and Canadian commuters, according to the project website. Two hundred acres of the community will be set aside for neighborhood parks, trails, open space and wildlife habitat.

A map shows the location of the proposed Grandis Pond Development in Blaine. The project is expected to receive engineering approval for the first phase of the development by the end of 2023.
A map shows the location of the proposed Grandis Pond Development in Blaine. The project is expected to receive engineering approval for the first phase of the development by the end of 2023. Grandis Pond, LLC Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

“We are excited to see the engineering progress on Grandis Pond, which is the largest project in our pipeline,” Harbor Custom Development President and CEO Sterling Griffin said in the announcement. “This multiyear development has the scale to potentially attract some of the largest national builders in the country and could provide Harbor the opportunity to monetize certain neighborhoods in the master-planned community early in the development cycle.”

Grandis Pond has been in the development pipeline for nearly two decades since the property was purchased in 2005. Planning and design for the project has cost about $7 million, according to Ken Hertz who owns a majority of the Grandis Pond property. Hertz was mayor of Bellingham from 1976-1984 and the first appointed director of Whatcom County Parks system from 1965-1975.

In 2020, the city of Blaine re-approved the Grandis Pond development and the first phase of the development. Each single-family lot planned in the first phase has cost about $50,000 to prepare for housing development, Hertz told The Herald in a telephone interview.

The approval for this first section of Grandis Pond is valid until June 2027. Construction on the first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2024 if engineering is approved this year, Hertz told The Herald.

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Profile Image of Rachel Showalter

Rachel Showalter graduated Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2019 with a degree in journalism. She spent nearly four years working in radio, TV and broadcast on the West Coast of California before joining The Bellingham Herald in August 2022.

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