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REI sells new, unused HQ to Facebook

Site developer Wright Runstad & Company and Shorenstein Properties also purchased an undeveloped 2-acre portion of the property.

September 15, 2020 |
REI outdoor space with open garage doors

Courtesy NBBJ

Just a few short months ago, REI was preparing to move into its new headquarters building in Bellevue, Wash.

The facility, which focused on blending inside space with outdoors space, featured courtyards, bridges, open park space, large operable windows and garage doors, and reclaimed wood all meant to promote a healthy lifestyle for employees.

But now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, REI Co-op has decided to sell its new, unused headquarters to Facebook for $390 million as the company shifts to a more distributed work model. The future “headquarters” will no longer be in a single location, instead spanning multiple satellite locations across the region as the company leans into remote working as a more engrained, supported, and normalized model for headquarters employees, according to a release from the company.

Both REI and Facebook will also donate 1$ million to the Eastrail, a 42-mile trail that the co-op was helping to develop over the last four years. The trail will connect the communities and businesses of King County’s Eastside through access to transit alternatives, employee hubs, and green space.

The build team for the HQ included NBBJ (architect), GGN (landscape architect), KPFF (structural engineer), and JMJ (civil engineer).

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