Updated: Ski to Sea Tries to Bully Bellingham
Updated | Ski to Sea race does not need to race through sensitive Chuckanut Community Forest Park for special mountain bike leg. City did not renege.
We have multiple sources confirming that the city of Bellingham, through the mayor's office, is seeking to buy the Chuckanut Ridge development property in south Bellingham. After three days of off-the-record confirmations from past reliable sources, it now seems clear the mayor and city council are working together on this. There is every reason the price for this property could be very low - perhaps well below $10 million.
This follows the failure of Horizon Bank and its seizure by state banking officials last Friday. While the FDIC transferred most assets to Washington Federal bank, the question was what would become of the land for the Chuckanut Ridge development? Land that Horizon Bank shared a 50% interest in, along with developer David Edelstein. Over the past 15 years, there has been on-and-off controversy over the proposed development. The threat of developing it was a major motivation for the passage of the first Greenways levy in the late 1990s. However, over the years the price to the city kept rising each time an attempt was made to buy it and preserve the extensive wetlands on the property. In recent years it has been a heated issue during political campaigns.
With the failure of Horizon Bank, it now seems like an ideal time for the city to make a move on the property. And that seems to be happening. I'll post more info here as I learn more.