Downtown District

​The Bellingham City Council approved the Downtown Bellingham Plan and related development regulations in 2014. Together, these planning tools guide private development and public improvements, and help prioritize city investment in the development of Downtown. 

Downtown Plan


2019 Downtown Survey

The City and Downtown​ Bellingham Partnership conducted a survey on public opinion, experiences and priorities for downtown Bellingham in May 2019. The results were​ compared with the 2011 downtown community survey to assess any significant ​changes. Over 2,600 responses were received.

Partnership to ​Redevelop 1314 Cornwall Avenue

The City is committed to enter into a public-private partnership to redevelop 1314 Cornwall Avenue (the former J.C. Penney Building) into a mixed-use residential, office and retail development. For more information​, click here.   

City Center ​Housing Market Study

City Center, which includes the Downtown, Old Town, and Waterfront Districts, has unique opportunities for residential development. A 2018 rental market study (PDF)​ provides an analysis of the housing stock, rental prices, and vacancy rates in City Center. The study also shows market changes and trends compared to findings from 2011.​

Downtown Retail Strategy

The Downtown Retail Strategy was developed to strengthen the retail mix downtown in an effort to improve the overall attraction of living-wage jobs, residential investment, street activity and fiscal health of the district. The strategy considers the specific trade area of downtown and the demo- and psych- graphics of the target​ market to determine the types of stores likely to be most successful in a focused retail area. The City and Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP) have partnered on this effort, including a Retail Advocate position (within the DBP office) who is working to recruit businesses and pursue the other recommendations outlined in the report.  

Related Documents

Related Links



Planning & Community Development