May 25, 2019

Peter Frazier, Co-Owner
Hotel Leo

Downtown Bellingham Gaining New Hotel, Apartments with Leopold Renovations

The historic Leopold Hotel building in downtown Bellingham, WA will transition from a retirement residency to a mixed use boutique 31-room new hotel and 61-unit apartment building in summer 2019.

The new Hotel Leo and Leopold Apartments will share the building at 1224 Cornwall Ave., bringing together visitors and local residents in a mixed-use concept that is new to Bellingham.

Hotel Leo will be the first hotel in Bellingham’s city center in at least 15 years and will fill a high-demand hospitality gap in downtown Bellingham.

Hotel Leo 1

“Downtown Bellingham is becoming known throughout the region for its walkability and vibrant mix of restaurants, stores, bars, and breweries. Adding a modern, high-quality hotel within walking distance of everything is a way to support and grow with the neighborhood,” said Hotel Leo co-owner Peter Frazier.

The Hotel Leo rooms will be in the three-floor mid-century motor inn constructed in 1959. The apartments are located in the nine-floor tower originally built in 1929.  Hotel guests and apartment residents will share use of a fitness facility, social lounge, deck, and library. A tenant (to be finalized soon) will lease much of the building’s 10,000-square-foot ground floor for a restaurant, bar, and events such as weddings, concerts, and meetings.

Studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units will be available for rent through Daylight Properties beginning June 1. Most apartments will include stunning views of Mt. Baker, Bellingham’s waterfront, and city center with easy access to the vibrant downtown scene. Monthly rental rates range from $950 to $2,000 and include all building amenities and utility services.

"With Bellingham’s apartment vacancy at record lows, bringing more housing will add to the economic vitality and commerce of our downtown,” said Jena Curry, leasing manager of Daylight Properties.

Frazier and his wife Aimee Frazier were part of a team who designed and developed Bellingham’s Heliotrope Hotel in 2016. The Fraziers and Bob Hall are co-owners of Hotel Leo and the Heliotrope Hotel. Jamie Verkist is general manager of both hotels.

Hotel Leo’s studio and one-bedroom units are being designed by Frazier and interior designer Michelle Banks of Bellingham firm Spiral Studios. Many furnishings are being locally sourced from downtown home-décor businesses The Greenhouse and Ideal.

Hotel Leo pays homage to the original use of the site at 1224 Cornwall Avenue as the Byron Hotel in 1889, becoming the Leopold Hotel after Leopold F. Schmidt purchased it in 1910. The current building was constructed as the new Leopold Hotel 1929, with an addition in 1959. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

"The renovations of the property and styling of the hotel will combine the old and new,” said building owner Bob Hall. “We are restoring as many of the building’s original features as possible.”

Work is currently underway to restore the terrazzo floors in the lobby, a terra cotta stairway, original tiling in the majority of the apartments and the original wood floors in the grand ballroom.

"We see the reopening of The Leopold as apartments, as well as a hotel, restaurant and events center, to be an expanded contribution to the vibrancy in our downtown community,” said Executive Director Alice Clark of Downtown Bellingham Partnership.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Frazier, (360) 201-0390

For leasing information contact:  Jena Curry, (360) 734-6600

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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