REI United Outside announcement on June 18A national recreational outdoor retailer is embarking on a campaign to give locals more than 100 chances to go outside.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) announced an ongoing event series dubbed “United Outside” last weekened to celebrate its forthcoming flagship D.C. store.

REI CEO Jerry Stritzke spoke about the upcoming event series at a party the company hosted at the National Museum of American History Saturday.

“We’re doing a summer of 100 days of outdoor events,” Stritzke announced to a crowd of about a hundred people. There should be no excuse for anyone to stay indoors this summer, he added.

Brewery events, bicycle tours, kayaking and camping classes are all on the agenda from now until the new store opens this fall.

As part of the series, REI will also donate $100,000 to charities including C&O Canal Trust, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the Outdoor Foundation, Stritzke said.


Congressional Cemetery in Fall (Photo via Congressional Cemetery)

Capitol Hill Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in the Capitol Hill area. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out our event submission form.

For more events, be sure to check out our event calendar.


H Street Corridor Safety Walk

Start at TD Burger (3rd and K streets NE)

Time: 6 – 7 p.m.

Locals who live near the H Street corridor are slated to have an opportunity to walk and talk with District police and government officials about safety in their neighborhood this week.

Friday and Saturday

In Their Own Words: Soul Strolls at Congressional Cemetery

Historic Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St. SE)

Time: 6 – 9 p.m.

The Congressional Cemetery is replacing its Halloween gala with four nights of tours. The tours will tell the stories of some of the 65,000 “residents” there, as interpreted by cemetery staff. The event is planned for the twilight hours of Friday and Saturday for the next two weeks, with a cash bar and music each night. Tickets are available online and cost $20 for adults and $10 for children who are 12 years old or younger.


13th Street Community Park & Garden Yard Sale

13th and C streets SE

Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

This community-wide yard sale of donated items will benefit the 13th Street Community Park & Garden. Residents can donate items for the sale throughout the week by contacting [email protected] and arranging a drop-off. Accepted items include small furniture, clothing, toys, books, electronics and baby items.

15th Annual Renovator’s House Tour

Stuart-Hobson Middle School (410 E St. NE)

Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Ten homeowners throughout Capitol Hill are opening their doors to showcase their home decor and renovation style. The tour is hosted by the Capitol Hill Cluster School as one of its primary yearly fundraisers. Guests can start at any of the homes or at the recently renovated Stuart-Hobson Midle School, which is part of the tour. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased online or in person at Schnieder’s, Hill’s Kitchen and Frager’s Hardware.

REI Thingamajig Used Gear Swap & Beer Garden Bluegrass

150 M St. NE

Time: 12 – 5 p.m.

Retailer REI will host a community gear swap where residents can buy, sell, barter or trade their used outdoor accessories with fellow lovers of the outdoors. Anyone bringing gear to sell will get table space to do so. Proceeds from each ticket will go toward Living Classrooms, which provides educational opportunities to young people. In addition to the gear swap, visitors can listen to live music from Kingman Island Blues & Bluegrass Folk Festival bands performing at Wunder Garten. Tickets are available for $7 available online or at the door.

Photo via Congressional Cemetery


(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Inside Uline Arena, artifacts of the building’s varied history abound. Old, orange stadium seats show where spectators watched concerts. Wooden panels used to convert the hall into a basketball court are stacked on the dirt-covered floor. And plumbing used to create an ice rink can be spotted through a hole.

All this is according to REI executives, who gave Hill Now a tour of the cavernous NoMa arena that offered glimpses of its history and of what the sporting goods store REI will build there.

REI will open a 51,000-square-foot store at M Street NE and Delaware Avenue NE that retains historic elements of Uline Arena, executives said this afternoon.

“We know how to be responsible with a building like this and not over-design but reveal elements that highlight the history of the space,” said Rachel Ligtenberg, a vice president for retail. REI has experience creating stores in other historic buildings, like inside New York’s Puck Building.

REI confirmed on Wednesday that they would move into the space completed in 1941.

The store — which will be REI’s first in Washington — will have 21-foot ceilings, with differences of elevation inside and separate “activity gear shops,” Ligtenberg said. To achieve the store’s height, workers will dig 5 feet down.

The entrance will be on M Street NE, and the western wall on Delaware Avenue NE will be lined with 16-foot-tall windows. The southwest corner of the building, with 25,000 square feet, will be rented to a separate retailer. The adjacent Ice House building will become a restaurant, Ligtenberg said. Closer to the vaulted ceiling will be three floors of office space.

REI began talking with Douglas Development, which owns the arena, 16 months ago, Ligtenberg said. The arena was the location of The Beatles’ first U.S. concert, the site of President Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural ball and was then used as a sanitation garage and parking lot.

The store is slated to open in late 2016.


Morning Rundown

Houses on F Street NE

Morton’s Pharmacy Robbery Update — The same three men who robbed Morton’s Pharmacy on Friday are wanted for robbing two stores in Anacostia, too. The masked men stole cash and prescriptions, and at least one has a gun. [Washington Post]

Uline Arena Redevelopment — In addition to the District’s first REI sporting goods store, the Uline Arena in NoMa will have room for 20,000 square feet of additional retail space and three floors of offices. [Washington Post]

New Design for Big NoMa Building — The design of the Union Market residential and retail complex planned just north of the NoMa Metro station has been revised to “reflect the industrial character of the neighborhood.” [Urban Turf]

Winter Weather Today — Rain and sleet are likely today between 5 and 8 p.m. [National Weather Service]



(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


REI (Photo via Facebook/REI)The sporting goods store REI has not finalized its decision to open its first District store inside the redeveloped Uline Arena, a company representative said Friday.

The statement comes just days after a Douglas Development representative reportedly confirmed that the sporting goods store would open an outpost in NoMa, at 3rd and M streets NE.

“We love the D.C. area and we are delighted there’s excitement about talk that we’re looking at Uline. We have been talking with the developer, but need to clarify that we have not finalized the decision,” Senior Vice President of Retail Tim Spangler said by email.

“We need the perfect location to create a unique and inspiring space for our members and the community,” Spangler continued.

Douglas Development Senior Vice President Normal Jemal said his company and REI have a “commitment” for the location, Urban Turf reported. A story yesterday from Washington Business Journal then cited Jemal as saying REI had not officially committed to leasing space.

Douglas Development did not immediately respond to an inquiry about REI’s statement today.

Photo via Facebook/REI


Subscribe to our mailing list