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REI to sell brand-new headquarters outside Seattle, embrace 'new normal' of remote work
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Outdoor retailer REI may have just completed a new corporate campus just outside of Seattle, but the company now plans to sell the facility before it even moves in due to the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The company said Wednesday it's walking away from the 380,000-square-foot building and 8-acre campus in Bellevue with an intention to shift to a "less centralized approach" for its presence in the Seattle area.
“The dramatic events of 2020 have challenged us to reexamine and rethink every aspect of our business and many of the assumptions of the past. That includes where and how we work,” Eric Artz, president and CEO, told employees during a video call. “As a result, our new experience of 'headquarters' will be very different than the one we imagined more than four years ago.”
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REI originally announced plans for the new headquarters in 2016 on an 8-acre site in a neighborhood called the Spring District.
Construction began in 2018 for an intended midsummer 2020 move-in date.
But then the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020.