REI has announced plans to open its fifth flagship store in D.C.'s historic Uline Arena (1140 3rd St. NE).
The neighborhood's now known as NoMa, but the history of the arena -- also called Washington Coliseum and The Arena -- goes way back: In 1953, President Eisenhower hosted his inaugural ball there. In 1964, the Beatles played their first U.S. concert to the tune of thousands of ecstatic fans.
REI is set to open in the 51,000-square-foot space in late 2016. This is the District’s first REI flagship store, which is expected to bring 150 jobs to the area.
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Planners say the D.C. REI will work to foster an immersive experience by combining retail with educational outdoor classes, field programs and day outings. Hey, it's going to be a flagship store for a reason, after all. Programs will include sunset kayak tours of the D.C. monuments and backpacking in scenic Shenandoah National Park.
Climbers, campers, skiers and snowboarders rejoice: REI will both sell extensive equipment as well as offer a rental department for those wishing to try before they buy.