Owner: Bob Hall; CEO: Kane Hall
Why Bellingham? “I seem to enjoy the places that involve less driving and that have a nice hub where people hang out and enjoy coffee or food and retail. It’s really all about communing with other people that’s enjoyable. Downtown Bellingham is one of those places that has that feel and it’s just going to get better and better as it grows and attracts others that are looking for the same thing.”
Favorite shop downtown? “That’s easy! My favorite shop is always the one we rented most recently. Today, that is the Sugar Shack in the Herald Building. I also really enjoy lunch at Avenue Bread, Goat Mountain Pizza, coffee at Union and Avellino, shopping at The Comics Place and Third Planet and catching a flick at the Limelight Theater. I also really appreciate visiting WWU’s Downtown City center.”
Downtown Bellingham is chock-full of rich history and old buildings, something Bob Hall realized in 1989, while searching for a suitable warehouse for a sweater import business. When the Bellis Fair Mall was built the previous year, the downtown area lost much of the economic vitality and life it had. As Bob was looking for a sweater warehouse, he noticed that there were a multitude of empty, viable buildings downtown. He saw an opportunity to change careers, and the idea for Daylight Properties was triggered.
An expert in architectural engineering, Bob knew the old, vacant buildings were built to last centuries. After researching the downtown area, he found out where he could uncover the original storefront signage, natural wood, brick, iron columns and old growth timbers in the buildings. Daylight Properties officially became a business in 2005, with the mission, “to continue to maintain and improve historic buildings, believing they are vital cultural monuments enhancing the economic vitality of Downtown Bellingham.”
Over time, many of the original buildings were either neglected or modernized, covering up history. Those at the company believe it is their responsibility to be good stewards so that history and old buildings are preserved for current and future generations. Daylight Properties now owns and manages mixed-use buildings downtown, and restores buildings to their former glory.
The energy and passion surrounding the revitalization of historic buildings is extremely evident when talking to Kane Hall, CEO of Daylight Properties and Bob’s son. With a business degree from Western, it has always been Kane’s dream to work with his father. He has been a part of the company from the beginning, and has worked in every department possible. Over the years, Kane has gained invaluable experience and knowledge by working alongside Bob. He has particularly enjoyed the managing and revitalization of the Herald Building. Through conservation efforts, they were able to conserve $80,000 in expenses within the first 12 months of managing the building.
Many of the properties are restored for commercial use at the street level and residential units above. Daylight Properties manages some of the most unique living spaces in Bellingham. Kane describes the units as quirky, amazing, different and beautiful places, some with huge windows, and some with spiral staircases. Kane and Bob are also keen on keeping rents affordable for tenants, who have seen little to no rent increases over the years. This is done by managing properties within the company.
Another way Daylight Properties helps to revitalize the downtown area and give back to the community is by supporting many organizations, including the Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP). Daylight Properties was the first matching donor in the Partnership’s Spring Campaign: We Are All Downtown Bellingham. Bob and Kane have been advocates for a strong downtown association from the beginning. Believing it is important for Downtown to have a voice, the father and son duo chose to support the Partnership.
“The DBP is a great way to network and form bonds that make the community stronger,” Kane said. “The DBP is our Downtown Neighborhood Association and is the voice of our Downtown.” He also noted that the DBP has a seat on the mayor's advisory council and hosts regular community meetings to talk about important issues like parking, safety, development and commerce. Kane enjoys the events the DBP organizes, which help neighbors get to know each other. “This creates meaningful synergy with the City, downtown merchants, visitors, residents and community stakeholders,” he said.
Through the restoration of historic buildings, supporting many organizations, and projects such as the street parklet outside the Herald Building, Daylight Properties is a major proponent in the revitalization of Downtown Bellingham. Last year, the company was nominated by the City of Bellingham for the 2015 Excellence on Main Street Award, under the visual impact category. Kane said it was an honor to work with the DBP and City to bring the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Conference to Bellingham, which brought recognition to the City.
Kane is always looking forward to the next big project, and will continue to work for more emphasis on the Downtown core. “The more occupancy and ownership Downtown, the more personalities we can add to our colorful community, the more eyes we have watching out for each other, and the more variety and competition we have,” he said.
Find Daylight Properties in the Herald Building: 1155 N State St. #620
Today's post was written by Kristin Foster, Media Intern.