REI has chosen Bellevue as the location of its new headquarters.
The outdoors co-op has outgrown its headquarters in Kent and has been looking for a new campus for a while.
Tuesday morning, REI said it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to develop eight acres in Bellevue’s Spring District, part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway between state Route 520 and Bel-Red Road.
If the deal is finalized and all goes as planned, the relocation will take place in 2020.
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Negotiations are ongoing, and REI should know by summer if the deal can move ahead.
“The Spring District offers us the flexibility to create a unique space for the co-op, where our employees and our community can gather and share our love of the outdoors,” the co-op said in an email to employees.
The Spring District is close to several city parks and within a few miles of several wilderness areas.
REI also said that it was encouraged that “the region’s transportation authorities are planning to invest billions of dollars for new infrastructure,” including miles of bike lanes, plans to convert the Eastside Rail Corridor to a multiuse trail connecting Woodinville to Renton, and plans for a light rail station to open in 2023 next to REI’s planned campus.
“While we feel very positive about the site, the region is growing, and it is no secret that current transit infrastructure is under pressure,” the company said. “We therefore intend to create a hub in the Spring District that supports an increasingly mobile workforce. Flexible workspaces, better technology and improved transit options will be an important part of our planning process.”
REI’s headquarters have been in Kent since 1988, and the co-op has satellite offices in Bellevue and Seattle’s Georgetown area.
It has about 1,200 employees at its headquarters.