The Sehome Neighborhood is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Bellingham, known for its arboretum, historic homes, great views, and proximity to both Western Washington University and downtown Bellingham. Most of the neighborhood is within the former Town of Sehome, which became part of Bellingham at the turn of the century. Situated on top of Sehome Hill, the neighborhood has views of both Bellingham Bay and Mount Baker.
Residents are also drawn to the historic architecture and layout, with the Sehome Historic District containing many houses over a century old. While the beautiful architecture is a defining characteristic of the neighborhood, it also includes more contemporary apartment buildings and a variety of home sizes across its 307 acres. This allows for a variable and engaging neighborhood admired by many Bellingham visitors and residents while supporting the benefits of living in a more densely populated area.
The Samish Way Urban Village is shared by the York and Sehome Neighborhoods. This high density area was approved in 2009 and may eventually contain 646 new housing units, and over 300,000 sq feet of retail area. In preparation for this higher density, the roadway in the village was reconfigured to allow for better bike and pedestrian access. It is a Federal Opportunity zone for investors, and recent interest indicates we will see increased development in the next decade. For example, the site of the Cascade and Villa Motels was demolished on Feb, 19, 2021 and will soon hold a 5 story building with 196 units-the largest current contruction in the city that will be occupied in 2023. The Aloha Motel site has been under construction and 69 housing units became available in 2022, with additional senior housing becoming available in 2023.
One of the greatest aspects of the neighborhood is the adjacent 175-acre Sehome Hill Arboretum. The Arboretum has miles of trails and provides an escape into the forest right outside your backdoor. Managed and owned by both the city and university, the Arboretum is maintained as an open space for recreation and research. The neighborhood includes two smaller parks as well, Laurel Park and Forest & Cedar Park.