Downtown or Central Business District
Downtown or Central Business District is Bellingham’s downtown core neighborhood and central waterfront area. Downtown or Central Business District is the cultural, civic, financial and service center of the Whatcom County.
Downtown or Central Business District is a collection of smaller “neighborhoods,” each having its own distinct flavor. Old Town was was the old center of Bellingham, while the Commercial Core Area has a long-standing tradition of general retail. Railroad Avenue has its own unique identity as well, coming from the very wide street that is the remnants of a rail line earlier in the City’s history.
The Civic Center is on the northern edge of downtown and adjoins Whatcom Creek. City and County offices as well as a variety of other governmental services including the Post Office and Public Library are also a part of this area. The cultural district include historic buildings containing the Whatcom Museum of History and Art and the Mt. Baker Theater. The Hillclimb, a ceremonial stairway leading from Holly Street to the Civic Center and Cultural District also serves as an outdoor amphitheater in Maritime Heritage Park on Whatcom Creek. Whatcom Creek Trail and Greenway runs along the northern border of the neighborhood and provides a pedestrian connector from the waterfront to adjacent neighborhoods. New condos have sprung up in the neighborhood as well as Depot market Square, the new home of Bellingham’s Farmers Market.
The central waterfront includes Squalicum Harbor Marina, Zuanich Point Park and commercial/industrial areas primarily managed by the Port of Bellingham. The City and the Port have recently joined forces to create a redevelopment plan for 137 industrial waterfront acres acquired by the Port on the former Georgia Pacific site. New condos, shops, offices and light industry, as well as parks and promenades, a healthy shoreline habitat along Bellingham Bay, and a new marina will be coming to this area soon.
This new downtown waterfront has the potential to radically change the city of Bellingham, let’s hope they get it right.