(Updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday) It’s official: the sporting goods store REI will open in the historic Uline Arena building in NoMa, the company confirmed Wednesday evening.
The first REI store in D.C. will sprawl 51,000 square feet in the loaf-shaped brick building visible from the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station. It will offer cycling, camping and skiing equipment to buy and rent.
“Our Washington, D.C. flagship will be an immersive experience — much more than a retail store,” company president and CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement. “We think that people in D.C. who love the outdoors want a place where they can come together to dream and scheme about their adventures.”
REI will employ 150 people in the building where President Dwight Eisenhower held his inaugural ball and The Beatles played their first U.S. show.
NoMA BID president Robin-Eve Jasper said the business offers the area a boost.
“NoMa-ites of all stripes will benefit from REI’s focus on healthy living and support of the community,” she said.
A Douglas Development representative reportedly confirmed in early December that the store would open in the arena, and then REI told Hill Now it wasn’t a done deal.
The store will open in late 2016, the company said.
Rendering courtesy of REI