REI plans to move headquarters from Kent to Bellevue

KENT, Wash. — REI may be moving its headquarters from Kent to Bellevue’s Spring District.

“It was great for the region, great for the city,” said Bellevue Mayor John Stokes.

Stokes said REI's announcement will help move the still developing Spring District forward.

Its 36 acres of land east of downtown along Bel-Red Road.

There's no formal deal. REI signed a non-binding letter of intent to develop these 8 acres.

In a statement, REI said “With our new campus, we're looking to create a hub for employees to come together to dream and scheme about life outdoors. 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."

“It adds a lot of synergy to what we've been working on for a long time,” Stokes added.

A light rail station will be built at the Spring District. Miles of bike and walking paths are also still in the works. Infrastructure REI has made clear is critical to make this move a done deal.

“They want to make sure how we move on eastside rail corridor, connectivity with biking. How serious we are. And we are serious,” Stokes explained.

After losing Expedia to Seattle last year, Stokes is confident REI will call Bellevue home.

“The neat thing about this is it helps us achieve that by having a company with a stature like REI say we want to be here,” Stokes said.

A formal deal could be in place by this summer.

If all goes as planned, REI would move in by 2020.