The co-op says the new store will be larger and more conveniently located for REI’s 126,000 Eastside members.
Recreational Equipment Inc. will return its main Eastside location to Bellevue next year, after two decades of Redmond exile.
The co-op says the new 40,000-square-foot store will be in the second level of the Bellevue Central Shopping Center being developed on 116th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Fourth Street.
The now vacant site, east of I-405, is surrounded by car dealerships and once housed a Dodge dealership. The store is scheduled to open in fall 2016.
According to documents filed with King County, two other retailers besides REI have signed leases there: grocer Trader Joe’s and HomeGoods, a home décor and furniture store.
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REI says the new facility will be larger, making it easier to offer a wider array of outdoor equipment.
The Bellevue store will also be closer to a greater number of the area’s 126,000 REI members than its current Redmond location, according to REI spokesman Michael Ferris.
It would also be right on the 405 corridor, and have greater access to public transportation, especially when light rail reaches the area, Ferris said.
REI first launched a Bellevue store in 1984. In 1998 it moved to a two-story, 35,000-square-foot space in Redmond Town Center that was nearly twice the size.
In 2007 REI opened another Eastside store, a 26,000-square-foot location in the Commons at Issaquah.