The Millworks Timeline
Millworks is the culmination of a vision that emerged nearly a decade ago, the result of the Community Foundation’s work with many stakeholders to strengthen Whatcom County’s local food system. The project has expanded based on the interests of Whatcom County residents as well as the aspirations and goals articulated in various community planning frameworks.
Community engagement to inform, inspire and invite input, as well as design and financing for Phase 2.
Mercy Housing NW breaks ground on Phase 1: Millworks Family Housing.
Fundraising goal reached thanks to several major gifts from local donors and a significant grant from Mount Baker Foundation. Site cleanup begins.
Generous grants from PeaceHealth and the Norcliffe Foundation bring the Phase 1 fundraising goal within $900K of completion.
Mercy awarded $19M in LowIncome Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing and $5.5M in WA State Housing Trust Fund awards.
WCF commits to raise $2.5M to bridge financing gap and accelerate project. WCF contributes $1M toward $2.5M goal.
Port approves option on property.
Millworks Family Housing unlocks $2.6M in WA State Department of Ecology cleanup money for Port of Bellingham.
YMCA joins Mercy to operate early learning facility
City of Bellingham commits $2.5 million to Millworks Family Housing and Childcare, bringing the city’s total investment in the project to $4M.
City of Bellingham commits $1.5M for Mercy Housing NW’s Millworks Family Housing.
WCF secures $1M from Washington State legislature via the capital budget to support Phase 1.
Mercy Housing NW commits to joins Millworks project team, build Millworks Phase 1: 83 workforce housing units and 6-classroom early childhood education facility, a ~$37 million project.
WCF and many partner organizations refocuses efforts in response to intense needs associated with unprecedented global pandemic and catastrophic local flooding.
Port and The Millworks LLC/ WCF sign an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement for the site, laying the groundwork for intensive project planning and preliminary design.
WA State Department of Ecology (Ecology) awards the Port of Bellingham a $200K Integrated Planning Grant in anticipation of Millworks Family Housing. (The grant is one of just a handful of pilot projects statewide in Ecology’s Affordable Housing Cleanup Grant Program, a collaboration with the WA State Department of Commerce.)
WCF presents expanded campus concept (including workforce housing and childcare) to Port Commission.
RMC Architects joins Millworks project team. Exploratory meeting with Port staff for site in Bellingham’s planned waterfront district garners a definitive, “Yes, and!” (add more uses and activity).
Local Food Campus stakeholder needs and wants assessed and potential sites evaluated.
WCF presents food campus concept to Bellingham Public Schools, proposing the district incorporate food processing, business incubation and other food-related uses into the Central Kitchen concept, originally planned for the Sehome High School campus. (Kitchen was ultimately built to meet district timeline; the facility played a pivotal role during the pandemic.)