REI plans to move headquarters to Bellevue

In a long-suspected move, outdoors outfitting company Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) announced Tuesday that it was moving its headquarters to Bellevue.

This rendering of The Spring District shows a not-so-distant future for the current warehouse district near Interstate 405 and State Route 520. REI would develop eight acres of the property.

In a long-suspected move, outdoors outfitting company Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) announced Tuesday that it was moving its headquarters to Bellevue.

REI has been located in Kent since 1988, but said it had outgrown that location. The company plans to move to Bellevue’s The Spring District by 2020.

According to a release, the company has signed a non-binding letter of intent to develop eight acres of land in the The Spring District — a 36-acre mixed-use urban neighborhood located between the Bel-Red corridor and State Route 520 in Bellevue, east of Downtown.

The non-binding agreement is not a formal deal. Either party can pull out at any time without penalty. REI will know whether The Spring District is a good fit by the end of this summer, a release said.

“With our new campus, we’re looking to create a hub for employees to come together to dream and scheme about life outdoors,” it reads. “The Spring District gives us the opportunity to create a unique space for the co-op, where our employees can gather and share our love for the outdoors. We envision an accessible, energizing space that is within reach of some great local outdoor spaces.”

Wright Runstad & Company, a Seattle-based office building developer, owns The Spring District.Its President, Greg Johnson, said the sustainable goals of the property and REI were a match.

“We are thrilled to enter into this arrangement with REI at the Spring District,” he said. “Wright Runstad and Shorenstein Properties have planned The Spring District from the beginning to embrace sustainability, walkability and regional transit and trail connections; all key values that we share with REI.”

The first phase of The Spring District is underway, with more than 300 apartments under construction. REI will develop about 20 percent of the property, which is designed to be open to multiple forms of transit as well as pedestrian and cyclist paths.

The Sound Transit East Link extension plans to open a light rail station at The Spring District by 2023.

REI, founded in Seattle in 1938, employs more than 1,100 people at its current Kent location. As an outdoors equipment co-op, it was spurred on by Bellevue’s many parks and city leaders committing to improve congestion.

“…Flexible workspaces, better technology and improved transit options will be crucial components of our planning process,” said the press release. “We are encouraged that the region’s community leaders are planning to invest billions of dollars to improve local transit options, including miles of bike lanes.”

More in Business

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Despite interest rate approach, real estate ticking onward

A real estate snap shot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

BDA President Patrick Bannon at the Bellevue Downtown Association’s 44th Annual Celebration. Photo courtesy of Rolan Wong at HRV Media
Downtown Association celebrates 45 years in Bellevue

The Bellevue Downtown Association’s 45th annual celebration will take place on Feb. 7.

Left, Tony Rummans as BitTitan’s vice president of global sales. Right, Bonnie Geers, MBAKS 1st VP, Quadrant Homes. Courtesy photos
Local business news

BitTitan VP; tunnels

Eastside tech companies Smartsheet, OfferUp, Apptio face challenging 2019

Here are a handful of companies from the Eastside that will be interesting to watch in 2019.

Inside the lobby at the Google office in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Runner1928
Google, Facebook to pay more than $400,000 to Washington state in campaign finance cases

Both are in the top 10 largest campaign finance recoveries in Washington state history.

T-Mobile starts $160 million renovation, extends lease to 2030

T-Mobile is hoping to finish renovations to its Bellevue campus within three years.

Anchorhead Coffee takes over former Bellevue Tully’s location

It will be the coffee roaster’s third store and second on the Eastside.

Entering the winter real estate market

In Bellevue, the last time inventory levels have been as high as they were in October was 2012.

Wine and Justice is a fundraiser that supports civil legal aid for low-income families in East King County. Attendees heard from Microsoft’s Strategic Policy Advisor, David Heiner and ELAP attorneys on Oct. 25. Photo courtesy of ELAP.
Campaign for Equal Justice hosts third annual Bellevue Wine and Justice fundraiser

More than 80 people attended the third annual Wine and Justice event at Cast Iron Studios in Bellevue on Oct. 25.

LifeSpring uncorks more than half a million dollars

Bellevue auction and benefit sees success.