Confirmed: REI Flagship Store is coming to NoMa!!!

1146 3rd Street, NE

Back in December we heard that an REI Flagship Store could be coming to the renovated Uline Arena in NoMa. At that time REI said they were excited about DC but they had “not finalized the decision”. Well, I’m happy to report the decision has been finalized for an REI!!! I got an email from REI about an event next week where lots more details including early store designs will be revealed “for your future REI Flagship in NoMa”. Stay tuned.

Ed. Note: The email mentions NoMa but not specifically the Uline Arena, presumably that is still the location – as stated above – lots more details coming soon.

53 Comment

  • Awesomesauce! This has made my day! Cant wait for this great addition to the neighborhood.

  • Nice! I am very curious what they will be able to do with the space/volume of that building!

  • I like their stuff but it’s so expensive!

    • If you want cheap crap, several WalMarts are already open.

      • Like those are the only two options — Campmor carries all the same quality products and is consistently less expensive than REI even when accounting for shipping.

    • palisades

      Well if you’re only looking at initial sticker price; yes it’s expensive. But taking into account the durability and reliability of the products, coupled with great customer service and awesome return policies make them more than worth the money.
      Could always focus on the sales racks like I do.

    • It is expensive, no doubt. But so many things I buy there end up being a *favorite* item that I get much more use per $ than something that is just workable but of lower quality or worse fit from another store.

    • You get what you pay for. REI employees are better paid and receive better benefits than most retail employees. The clothing they sell tends to be higher quality than you will find most anywhere.

      Also, members get 10% off of every purchase and there are two 20%-off sales per year, which can save you big bucks.

      Also, lifetime return policy.

      • no more lifetime return policy — now limited to one year. too many a-holes abusing the return policy (even some of my friends who would “rent” gear at REI before a big trip, use it, and return all of it) ruined it for the rest of us.
        you can still return outside of the 1 year window do to product defect.

  • Great news and it means that we’ll finally have something more than second string REI locations. The College Park store used to be something approximating a flagship but as other stores have opened its selection has been dialed back.

  • laduvet

    YES! Finally an outdoor store! I can actually buy christmas gifts for my outdoorsy brother in a store now verses online! yippee

    • This is not the first out door store — Hudson Trail Outfitters in Tenleytown is very good. And Models, kinda. And Arc’teryx in CityCenter.

      • Patagonia in Georgetown.

      • Modell’s LOL

      • HTO is a shadow of their old selves. Arcteryx is just high end fashion. If you want an actual Arcteryx pack (for actual backpacking), REI has them.

        • I’m assuming you mean that the Arcteryx store in CityCenter is high fashion rather than claiming that Arcteryx doesn’t make quality outdoor products. I haven’t been to the store yet, so this is disappointing. I was hoping they would have their entire line at their store.

  • Gotta get the gear!!

  • emvee

    This is glorious!

  • maxwell smart

    I really hope they do something that recognizes that the Beatles played their first show in the US at this location. I know that has nothing to do with REI and/or products they sell

    • The Beatles first US performance was on the Ed Sullivan show in New York City, 9 February 1964. They didn’t play Washington Coliseum until 11 February.

      • Hence why they said “show” as in concert, and not appearance.

        They have a massive banner on the arena but it would be nice if they at least paid homage to them in some way when they redevelop.

        • Attempts to make DC important to the history of rock & roll are just lame. It’s like make a big deal out of its brief status as a second string punk town.

  • This is bad news for my budget. When I used to live a few blocks from an REI a few years ago, I spent way too much money there!
    Side note: given the stock of warehouses and open lots in NOMA, maybe that area of town will become our ‘big box’ neighborhood.

  • Stoked!!!

  • Oh yeah, I’m so psyched about this.

  • This is awesome news. I love shopping here, but hate going way out of the city to do so. Should make online purchase returns much easier as well.

  • If it’s anything like their other flagships, this will be awesome.

  • This is fantastic. Bring on the haters who talk about their lack of price competitiveness. Their 1-year guarantee (no questions asked) is the best. Sure, it was way better when it was lifetime…but you generally know within a year whether something is working for you or not.

  • Blithe

    Yay! I’m looking forward to seeing how they use the space. I’ve been a fan of REI ever since I encountered the “rain room” at the Seattle store. I know it”s got a practical purpose, but being able to choose my own weather conditions and play in the rain while trying out gear just slays me.

    • WAIT WHAT? is it still there? i swear i’ve been there like 10 times, but haven’t found the rain room. must research.

  • Awesome. Hopefully they carry more winter sports gear than the other locations around the area. I guess we’ll find out next week, but does anyone know a general timeline for this development?

  • Fantastic news for gear-heads, for economic-development types, for industrial re-use fanboys+girls, for those who like to get gifts that are actually used by the recipients, etc etc etc. This will be a huge anchor and draw for the area. Boom!

  • cheers to no more schlepping out to Rockville! I surely won’t miss Rockville Pike aka the bane of my existence

  • SweetEpiphany

    Serious question —- Who’s going to be shopping here to keep this store afloat? It’s kind of expensive and will be in an offbeat location. This is DC, not Denver.

    • Lol right off a Metro, one stop from Union station is “off beat”? K

    • Are you serious? All of DC/metro area will come here, either for real outdoor needs or to buy that new North Face urban fleece. This is going to be their flagship store, so it will beckon folks from all around.

    • hahaha. offbeat location? whaaaaaat?

    • I’m confused. Are you implying people in DC don’t hike or camp? Maybe not as much as Denver, but there are lots of great outdoor recreation spots in the city and nearby and they are very popular.

      • SweetEpiphany

        Ok, I admit offbeat was a poor choice of words. I guess what I’m trying to understand is whether the location is looking to draw the people who live in the area, or trying to draw everyone in DC. It sounds like you all are saying they want to get everyone in DC to shop here. Maybe I’m just uninformed about the DC outdoor culture.

        • i think the idea of a “flagship” store is to be the main store in a region.
          If you know this area and have been following development and growth in the city, you’ll see that this area will become a major destination for the dc metro area. it is easy to get to by car, train, marc train, amtrak, and boltbus. and is in a dense part of the city, so it’s walkable for 1000’s of people. it’s not far from UDC, Trinity College, Catholic U and Howard.

          they sell biking equipment, raincoats, shoes, kayaks, hats, gloves, bathing suits, etc… . pretty much something for anyone, even if they are not outdoorsy types.

    • maxwell smart

      I kinda get what SweetEpiphany is saying – the location isn’t adjacent to any other retail / public urban area that would already be a draw for customers, so you are coming here exclusively to go to REI. I’m sure that will eventually change though. I do wonder what they will do about parking though. I can’t imagine going to REI to purchase a bike rack or camping equipment and then having to schlep that home on the metro.

      • That’s the same case with the other two closest REIs I go to – I’m going there just to go to REI. The one in College Park, the one in Seven Corners. Sure, there’s other stuff in the strip malls with both of them – but none of it is of interest to me..

      • I work near the one in Rockville and take stuff on the Metro all the time. The one in College Parks is a hike from Metro, but I’ve done it there, too. The College Park location is near a great MOM’s. Rockville is in the middle of the Pike near Congressional–so if you need to do big box stuff it’s all right there.

        Their NYC flagship is in the Bowery and I doubt that many people use something other than public transportation. the Seattle flagship is in an odd location near downtown and people somehow find it.

        • Sounds like you don’t know NYC very well. There are parking garages all over the place near there, and you can pull up next to the building if you want to load something large. NY isn’t any more a utopian carless wonderland than DC is.

  • If I go to REI to purchase camping equipment I BETTER be able to schlep it home on the metro or it’s not going to do me much good when I’m supposed to carry it on my camping trip, haha.

    I couldn’t even tell you another store in the stripmall that houses the College Park REI. Wait, that’s a lie, there’s a MOM’s Organic Market I bought a snack from once. Coincidentally (or not) this would be rather close to the new DC MOM’s.

    Another tidbit about the ULINE location is that it’s a block from the Met Branch Trail which means, at the very least, it will get folks coming/going on the trail.

    • maxwell smart

      That would only be a concern if you were backpacking – if you are car camping, then yeah, you could bring quite a lot of equipment. As for location (haven’t been to College Park) – the Rockville location (despite Rockville Pike – but there are many other ways to get there) has Target, Trader Joe’s, Giant, etc. within a couple of blocks – makes it easy to run all my errands at once.

  • Where were all you “quality costs money” folks when the poor cakepop woman was being lambasted on here for selling them at $3.25?

  • holy crap that’s awesome!

  • This is such an interesting space. I was really hoping something would be done with it other than retail. Maybe REI is part of a larger development plan that will maintain some public, interactive space?

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