When REI’s 1,400 employees arrive to work at the company’s eight-acre headquarters campus in Bellevue’s Spring District in 2020, they will be working in an environment that embodies much of the outdoor gear and clothing co-op’s spirit: accessibility, sustainability, and connectivity.
REI last year announced that it would move its now cramped, 170,000-square-foot office headquarters from Kent to Bellevue, consolidating corporate workers currently spread throughout Puget Sound offices (including nearly 300 employees who work at the company’s Eastgate office) in one location.
The company recently shared a design rendering of its proposed three-building, 400,000-square-foot corporate campus slated for construction in the Spring District, a 36-acre, $2.3-billion, 5.3-million-square-foot mixed-use development project.
REI’s new headquarters campus will feature courtyard-spanning connector bridges, rooftop walkways, exterior staircases, and three public pedestrian paths linking nearby transit and residential areas. Ample outdoor areas will allow staff to hold meetings, exercise, or host community events, and the campus could include a coffee shop, retail stores, and restaurants. And campus will be located near the 14-mile, $3.7 billion East Link light rail system (scheduled to open in 2023) and the 42-mile Eastside Rail Corridor connecting Renton to Woodinville.
REI plans to follow the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) evaluation criteria to construct a building that is energy efficient and sits in a landscape with edible garden species and native vegetation. The construction will also be mindful of environmental impacts to local watersheds.
REI will own the Spring District campus property. Its existing Kent campus is for sale.
“Our challenge is to build a world class, sustainable headquarters that brings the best of outdoor life into a collaborative work setting for our employees,” said REI chief operating officer Eric Artz. “The Spring District gives us the opportunity to help build a neighborhood from the ground up and rethink how we work, commute, and gather.”
The plans are now working their way through the City of Bellevue’s design review process, which can take up to 12 months to finalize and approve. Development partners include Wright Runstad & Company, NBBJ, GGN, and Howard S. Wright.