71 Comment

  • i have a strong feeling that the are going to CLEAN UP in this city

    • For some reason I love REI and I don’t even do outdoorsy stuff. Went in there one day and they had a park ranger with a hawk and some other animals, thought that was pretty cool.

      • justinbc

        They have some of the nicest, friendliest, and most helpful staff of any store I’ve ever been to.

        • maxwell smart

          That’s interesting. When I went to the one in Tysons to get a bike rack for my car, I had to hunt to find an employee and they had the usual DC indifferent attitude about offering any help.

  • The building itself is definitely coming along, too – the windows are installed and you can see inside. I’d be curious to see more wide-scale renderings (including of the outside) – apart from the top picture, these renderings could be of pretty much any REI.

  • Really hoping they’re ski shop is legit… it’d be amazing if they had a tuning setup too. Finding a good ski shop near DC is nearly as hard as finding good skiing near DC!

    • wonder if those two are related

    • When they had fewer stores in the area, the College Park store had a significant amount of ski equipment. I bought my X-C skis there. The closing of other ski stores might create enough demand to have a sizable department again.

    • I’d hope so too, but honestly, I wouldn’t hold my breath. In my experience, I’ve been able to get basic tune-ups at whatever hill I’m skiing without an issue. It’s not like you’re getting core shots here. Folks are great turning skis around overnight out west.

  • So it’ll look like most other REIs / outdoor retailers? (I like it though, and yes, I agree that they’re going to cleanup. No more hiking over to Georgetown for Patagonia!)

  • goodbye, money. it was nice knowing you.

  • Lion of LeDroit

    Why don’t we just get it over with and build a giant mountain with roaring river over the railroad tracks adjacent to NY Ave: sort of like Capitol Crossing, but way, way better. Year-round fun – skiing, hiking, rafting, kayaking – and an excellent place to try out some of our new REI gear :).

  • Looks like an REI. I like REI as much as the next guy, but sometimes I’m a little creeped out by the breathless anticipation with which some people await the ability to buy consumer goods slightly closer to their homes.

    • You clearly live too far to be positively affected by the ensuing property value bump. 😉 Also, there are many people in DC who actually do things outside for which they need specialized gear that’s only sold by REI. The store in CP isn’t remotely convenient. People like convenience. Capisce?
      (But fair enough re: rampant over-consumerism.)

    • justinbc

      For people who don’t own cars, every block that you don’t have to haul heavy outdoor equipment can be substantial.

    • maxwell smart

      Yeah.. I’m with you on that one. I get that, yes, having it in your backyard offers convenience, but it’s not like it was impossible to get to REI before, especially in the era of ride-sharing, cars2go, etc.

  • D.C. is turning into such a boring copy of every suburb near here. Time to move somewhere more authentic.

  • I had a little bit higher hopes on the aesthetics of the space than what these renderings show. The downtown flagship Denver store is absolutely awe inducing in terms of the architectural marvel of the space. It is in an old Tramway building and they really do it justice both inside and out.

    I thought the Uline Arena had similar potential to dazzle given the uniqueness of the building. But all the rendering I’ve seen this week for the REI seem like a nondescript Macy’s interior with a few wood wall and ceiling features to break up the concrete bunker look. I can only guess that Douglas Development’s desire to add office on upper floors has taken some of the grandeur away in favor of maximizing profit from every square inch. Oh well. It is what it is. Better than let it continue to sit idle and vacant of course…

  • Renderings aren’t definite, may all your dreams come true

  • Missing is the paramilitary security that will mostly be staged out front of the store on a daily basis. Seems we only improve customer options in this city, and it seems to me fairly soul-sucking. Nike store and now REI in traditional low income neighborhoods just stinks in so many respects, inequality on parade in so many areas of the city now. And will REI be hiring locals? Is this even the type of store locals would be able to work at? If you grew up in an urban setting seem like a semi-difficult place to work given REI’s standards. Honest question: I’m curious if there will be some sluggish performance from this store in years to come as people move out of DC once they have kids because of school options and the tremendous cost of private school. Seems like kind of an odd choice of location for REI to me.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this store will make an absolute killing, DCs micro-migration patterns notwithstanding.

      • maxwell smart

        I guess I don’t see it. The DC crowd strikes me as more SoulCycle and Pilates then actual legit outdoor activities.

        • DC Metro area has quite a few people, many of whom you don’t seem to have met.

        • Can you tell me where I can find these people that don’t want to spend their weekends scaling cliffs and sleeping in tents? The “DC Crowd” is absolutely into those kinds of activities, to the point where you feel like a weirdo if you don’t share that enthusiasm.

          • maxwell smart

            Apparently they all work at my office, most of whom would rather spend their weekend binge watching Netflix, ordering food from Seamless and only leaving the house if brunch is involved.

      • NH Ave Hiker

        Yea, I live in Petworth and I backpack and hike regularly. I actually would prefer doing that than spending a weekend in the city most of the time.

    • justinbc

      Depends on what you mean by “locals”, and if you mean black people why are you assuming that they’re incapable of offering high customer service standards?

      • My comment was not about service, honestly, that’s sort of a ridiculous reading into the comment, my comment is simply that if you grew up in the city there is a good chance you have not engaged much with the products that REI sells. I think the product line is a difficult one to sell if you’ve spent little or no time skiing, biking, kayaking etc. Plus in terms of potential retail gigs, REI is some pretty yuppie/crunchy stuff. I dont think thats a stretch at all.

        • justinbc

          So you think the kids from Purceville are going to drive into the city to apply?

        • REI hosted an awesome “diversity in the outdoors” panel a few weeks back at the Wunder Garten where every single panel member addressed this very issue in some form (each panelist came from one of various local, black and latino-specific outdoor recreational orgs with whom REI has partnered). i honestly thought it was an awesome discussion and someone even asked how REI will tap into that community locally. from my pov, bc they have these relationships with local black/brown orgs and plan to hire locally and will have ppl around to dole out advice on local outdoor recreation, it seems REI is legitimately committed to raising the profile of these activities and orgs to help dispel the perception that “the outdoors” is only for wealthy white people.

          also i understand why you think it’s stretch but lots of low-income or black or brown folks have spent a lot of time outdoors…

      • REI caters to outdoor activities that traditionally have appealed to MC and UMC white people with suburban or rural upbringings. It’s hard to get into hiking, skiing, kayaking, etc when you’re a poor kid from the inner city. Hence, a lot of the people who grew up in the H Street neighborhood won’t be qualified for these jobs. It’s not too difficult to connect the dots.
        It’s the same reason why a Lit major from the Seven Sisters probably won’t work at Cabela’s.

        • Good point. I hope this location ties in more with hyper-local outdoor activities. There’s quite a lot you can explore without leaving the city.

        • You’re right about everything except the part about it being difficult to connect the dots. A lot of people seem to be really shielded and/or out of touch with the realities of those who live in sub-$150k households.

    • Yes, they are hiring locals!

    • On a completely unrelated note, urban teens love this kind of outerwear. It has gone from Eddie Bauer coats in the 90s to North Face and Patagonia to most recently Helly Hansen. REI outerwear might be the trend in High Schools this fall. Goretex pants and Jackets, Skull hats and beanies….

      • justinbc

        Yeah I’ve seen a lot of MPD crime alerts that describe the suspect specifically wearing Helly Hansen jackets. Probably not the viral marketing they were aiming for…

  • On Sunday, over 100 staff members from the new store turned up at Fort Dupont in SE to do a trash pick up and help repair some damaged sections of trail there. A very nice, engaged and all around lovely group of people to work with, all the way from the cashiers to the managers. If they conduct themselves the same way in the store as they did on the trails, then it’ll be a net win for the city.

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