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REI Submits Design for New Campus, Reiterates Ambition to Connect Workforce to the Outdoors and Community

Bellevue, WA

Outdoor co-op submits application for Design Review to the City of Bellevue

SEATTLE March 23, 2017 - Today REI, the outdoor co-op, submitted the designs for its new campus to the City of Bellevue for Design Review. The submission represents another step in the co-op’s vision to create a hub that is accessible, sustainable, and connected to the community. The review process typically takes 9-12 months and, once approved, REI can begin construction. REI still plans to relocate its campus in 2020.

“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 Eric Artz, REI’s chief operating officer. “The Spring District gives us the opportunity to help build a neighborhood from the ground up and rethink how we work, commute and gather. We’re excited to work with the City of Bellevue, King County and other partners throughout the region.”

Sustainable Design

As a co-op that cares for the long-term health of the outdoors, REI incorporates sustainable design in all of its buildings across the country. For its new campus, REI and its partners will follow the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) evaluation criteria—the preeminent program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings. REI currently has more than 1.1 million square feet of LEED-certified buildings, including the co-op’s newest distribution center in Arizona, which achieved LEED Platinum and is the most sustainable distribution center in the country. The co-op will also use Salmon Safe as a guideline for environmental impact to local watersheds.

At this early stage in the design process, REI has made several sustainable design decisions, including:

  • The building is positioned for optimal solar orientation
  • Windows will be strategically placed to maximize daylight into the workplace
  • Energy efficiency features will be incorporated throughout the building
  • The landscape will feature edible garden species and native vegetation

Hub for REI and Community

REI’s vision is to create a campus that brings co-op employees and the local community together. The public can easily move across the campus on a series of three public pedestrian paths, linking nearby transit and residential areas. The space may also include public amenities such as a retail location, coffee shops and food options.

Co-op employees will enjoy several features intended to create a collaborative working environment. The building will feature connector bridges that span across the courtyard spaces, outdoor staircases, rooftop walkways and outdoor meeting spaces, offering alternate ways for employees to get around campus. There will also be outdoor space for employees to exercise and host community events.

REI is working with the City of Bellevue, King County and other partners to increase commuting options in Bellevue and throughout the Puget Sound region. The co-op publically supported Proposition 1 (also known as Sound Transit 3) last year, and continues to work with local government and community leaders to improve bike connectivity throughout the region.

Investing in the Community

REI continues to invest in local communities throughout the country and the Puget Sound region. In 2016, REI and The REI Foundation invested $9.3 million in more than 300 nonprofit partners, including more than $750,000 in outdoor places and causes in and around the Puget Sound region. The co-op’s new campus is located in the Mountains to Sound Greenway (MTSG), a linked network of green spaces and historic towns that REI has supported for years through its investment in the MTSG Trust.

REI is a strong supporter of the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC), a 42-mile multi-use trail that will stretch from Renton to Woodinville when complete. The new campus and recently-opened Bellevue store are both located along the ERC, and the co-op recently invested $20,000 in the Eastside Greenway Alliance for their ongoing work in collaboration with King County. REI is also working closely with city, state and federal leaders to improve safe bike lane connectivity. This work includes partnering with the city on the implementation of the Bicycle Rapid Implementation Plan—a 57-mile network of new and improved bike lanes—and support of the public and private effort to transform the Wilburton Trestle into an elevated pedestrian bridge as part of the ERC.

Notes to editors:

  • REI currently has more than 1,400 headquarters employees in five office areas in the Puget Sound region.
  • REI recently made Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the 20th consecutive year—one of 12 companies to be included on the annual top employer list since 1998.
  • Similar to its existing campus, REI will own the eight acres of land in a section of the Spring District, located between SR 520 and Bel-Red Road.
  • REI’s partners include Wright Runstad & Company (developer), NBBJ (architect), GGN (landscape architect) and Howard S. Wright (builder).
  • REI’s existing Kent campus is for sale. For inquiries about the Kent campus, please contact Doug Larson (dlarson@htland.com) or Matt Anderson (manderson@htland.com) at Heartland.
  • Renderings are available at Newsroom.REI.com.

About REI: REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 147 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/REI-Garage or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 170 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.

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Click here for a pdf of the press release.

REI's New Campus in the News:

SEATTLE March 23, 2017 - The Puget Sound Business Journal published an article on REI's future HQ campus, click here to read more.

SEATTLE March 23, 2017 - The Seattle Times published an article on the design of REI's new campus, click here to read more.

SEATTLE March 23, 2017 - Curbed Seattle published an article on REI's move to Bellevue, click here to read more.

SEATTLE March 24, 2017 - The Daily Journal of Commerce published an article on REI's campus design, click here to read more.


 

Wright Runstad & Company in the News

Seattle, WA

SEATTLE February 23, 2017 - The Daily Journal of Commerce published an article about Wright Runstad & Company, click here to read more.


 

The Spring District in the News

Seattle, WA

SEATTLE November 23, 2016 - The Daily Journal of Commerce published an article about The Spring District's Sparc apartments, click here to read more.

SEATTLE May 25, 2017 - The Daily Journal of Commerce published an article about The Spring District, click here to read more.


 

REI to Build a Connected Campus that Brings the Outdoors In

Bellevue, WA

Outdoor co-op to relocate its headquarters to the Spring District in Bellevue, Wash. in 2020

SEATTLE September 30, 2016  - REI announced that it has finalized an agreement to relocate its headquarters to a section of the Spring District in Bellevue, Wash. Having announced intentions in March, the deal is now complete. The vision is to create a hub that is accessible, sustainable and connected to the local outdoor community.

“We aspire to create something unexpected that embodies our co-op values. We’re envisioning a sustainable, transit-friendly, urban neighborhood that blends working space with green space, takes inspiration from the community around it, and connects to the rest of the Puget Sound area,” said Eric Artz, REI’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“After 28 years in Kent, we have outgrown our current headquarters. So, we will build a campus as a gathering place that fosters creativity and connects thousands of increasingly mobile employees,” Artz continued.

Founded in 1938 in Seattle, REI has deep roots in the Puget Sound community. In 2016, the co-op invested nearly $750,000 in outdoor places and causes in and around the Puget Sound area, including grants to Northwest Avalanche Center, Washington Trails Association and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. The co-op also opened a new store at the nearby Bellevue Shopping Center earlier this month, relocating its Redmond location to better serve more than 126,000 active co-op members in the Bellevue area.

“We look forward to the ongoing dialogue with regional leaders on optimizing local outdoor spaces and commuting infrastructure, especially protected bike lanes,” Artz said.

The Spring District will be a walkable, green community with multi use, office and residential space, including the University of Washington’s and Microsoft’s Global Innovation Exchange and a brewpub space. REI’s partners for the new campus include Wright Runstad & Company (developer), NBBJ (architect), Lease Crutcher Lewis (builder) and Hornall Anderson (creative).

“We couldn't be more thrilled that an organization with such strong roots in the Puget Sound community has selected the Spring District for its new headquarters. The values of the co-op, particularly around sustainability, align strongly with the values that are represented in the Spring District,” said Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad & Company.

“Creating a new home for REI is an exciting opportunity to rethink the future of work to help it better serve and connect with its employees, members and community. Offices should blur the boundaries between work and play, indoors and outdoors, public and private, adventure and rest. REI is the perfect partner to work with to design a campus that reflects this spirit of exploration and conservation,” said Mindy Levine-Archer, principal at NBBJ.

"REI means so much to the region and to many of us personally. We're also proud to be part of this outstanding project team," said Troy Bloedel, vice president at Lease Crutcher Lewis.

Notes to editors:
The co-op currently employs more than 1,400 on its campus in Kent, Wash., where it has been located since 1988, and several satellite offices throughout the Puget Sound area.

REI will develop eight acres of land in a section of the Spring District, between SR 520 and Bel-Red Road.

REI is ranked one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and Glassdoor’s 50 best places to work. Both organizations recently recognized the co-op again as one of the 20 Best Workplaces in Retail.

REI was advised by Heartland, LLC, a Seattle-based real estate advisory and investment firm, in this transaction.

About REI: REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 146 stores in 35 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/REI-Garage or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 170 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.

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1500 Jefferson Building Awarded The International Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) in the Government Building Category

Seattle, WA

1500 Jefferson TOBYSEATTLE July 6, 2016 - Wright Runstad & Company announced that the 1500 Jefferson Building in Olympia, Washington was awarded The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) in the Government Building category at the 2016 Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International Conference & Expo held in Washington, DC. To win this prestigious award all properties must first win local and regional competitions. The properties are judged on overall property management excellence in such key areas as engineering, sustainability, emergency preparedness, community outreach and tenant relations.

Wright Runstad & Company has managed 1500 Jefferson since it opened in 2011. Wright Runstad & Company also developed 1500 Jefferson in a public private partnership called the “Developer Model” with the State of Washington and the National Development Council. A similar public private partnership was also employed by the same partners to develop Edna Lucille Goodrich Building in Tumwater, Washington.

The six story, 240,594 square foot Class A office building is occupied by two State of Washington agencies, WaTech and Department of Enterprise Services. These state agencies enjoy the value of a high tech office building, excellent customer service, conference and training center with advanced audio visual equipment, secured bicycle storage, shower facilities, employee lounge areas and a deli/restaurant. The thoughtfully landscaped 8.8 acre grounds also compliment the adjacent residential neighborhood. “The 1500 Jefferson building is a real asset for the Great State of Washington,” said Judy Fitzgerald, Chief Financial Officer of WaTech. “Its 21st century design accommodates all types of working arrangements, supports all types of employee needs and provides public access to the grounds and deli. There are about 950 people who areproud to work in this building each day. The building demonstrates the value of public service and the pride Washingtonians take in their civic spaces."

Designated a LEED Platinum building by the US Green Building Council, the 1500 Jefferson Building is also known for its operating cost savings and sustainable features in HVAC, plumbing, electrical and water consumption without sacrificing operational quality. Environmentally progressive, the 1500 Jefferson Building promotes long term sustainability by use of recycled materials in its interior finishes. Building systems feature state of the art HVAC controls, lighting system, dimming perimeter lighting, integrated shades and occupancy sensors all contributing to a high Energy Star rating of 92 and Energy Use Index of 50 (the national average is 67.3, the lower number the better). The onsite property management team also works closely with state agencies and service providers to continually energize a strong recycling and compost program that diverts more than 56 tons of material from landfills every year.

Wright Runstad & Company would like to thank the National Development Council, the State of Washington, BOMA International, BOMA South Puget Sound chapter, the property management team, state employees and our industry partners who care for the building and state agencies every day.

This was the second international TOBY win in the Government Building category for Wright Runstad & Company and the National Development Council. King Street Center, located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle and occupied by King County, earned the international TOBY in 2005.

About Wright Runstad & Company

Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company develops, acquires, manages and leases high-quality commercial office buildings located primarily in the Pacific Northwest. The company is in its fifth decade as one of the region's premier real estate development and operating companies, delivering outstanding property performance and superior investment returns. Wright Runstad & Company maintains an exceptional reputation among tenants and institutional investors for its demonstrated commitment to integrity and high levels of quality and service. For additional information visit: www.wrightrunstad.com

About BOMA International

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 91 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence and knowledge. Learn more at: www.boma.org.

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Click here for a pdf of the press release.