Recreational outfitter REI plans store in Castleton

May 24, 2011
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REIThe outdoors retailer REI plans to open its first Indiana store in a former Linens & Things location in the Plaza at Castleton shopping center.

The Sumner, Wash.-based retailer, a not-for-profit cooperative with 114 stores in 29 states, is set to take about 24,000 square feet at the center, which sits at the southeast corner of 86th Street and Allisonville Road, just west of Castleton Square Mall.

The deal is great news for a center that has lacked an anchor tenant since Linens & Things closed in 2008 as part of the chain's bankruptcy liquidation. REI will take a little more than half of the 40,000 square feet the housewares retailer had occupied, leaving room for a second mid-size anchor store, a site plan shows.

The Castleton store does not yet appear on the chain's list of new openings for 2011, suggesting it won't open until 2012.

REI is the nation's largest consumer cooperative. Anyone can shop at the store, but members receive annual rebates based on how much they buy. A lifetime membership is $20, and it typically pays about 10 percent back on purchases per year, the company says.

REI earned $115.4 million on $1.46 billion in sales in 2010, and paid $94.3 million in "patronage refunds" to its 4.4 million active members.

REI, which stands for Recreational Equipment Inc., was founded in 1938 by a group of mountain climbers in the Pacific Northwest. The chain had been looking for a central Indiana store at least since 2007, when REI appeared on a site plan for the failed Venu project at 86th Street and Keystone Avenue.

The Plaza at Castleton shopping center is owned and managed by McKinley Inc. of Michigan, and leasing is handled by locally based Eclipse Real Estate and the local office of Pennsylvania-based Echo Retail. Niessink Commercial represented REI.

Real estate reporter Cory Schouten is in Las Vegas this week for the International Council of Shopping Centers convention. Check for updates here on Property Lines, in the May 30 issue of IBJ, and on Twitter @PropertyLines.

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  • Hooray!
    Now I won't have to spend vacation time shopping!
  • REI
    Twenty years ago I would have been thrilled by this. How is this a not-for-profit organization? It's a consumer coop, yes, but it also sells to the public.
  • Sweet!
    I love REI --- so glad they are coming to town! Now if only we could get a Costco to open on the southside, my life would be complete....
  • REI
    Awesome a real outdoor store!
  • Welcome! But...
    I'm sad to see that REI settled for a conventional northside shopfront location instead of building/ moving into a space that's integral to the downtown landscape like they have done in Denver. It's bittersweet to learn that such a respected and responsible retailer is settling in an area where convention and sports traffic won't know it's there and can't reach it without a rental car.
    • Dan - a downtown BUT
      BUT Denver's downtown is a bit larger than our mile square.
    • Downtown
      Maybe they should consider setting up shop in the old Borders store instead.
    • Denver
      Denver's downtown puts Indy's to shame.
      • Downtown REI
        REI would be a great addition to the downtown retail scene. REI has done many urban stores on the west coast, so they get it. If i were a Landlord downtown, i would be aggressively pursuing REI.
      • Denver Downtown
        Sorry, I was recently in downtown Denver at a convention and it is not good at all. It shuts down at night and the restaurants close early. Not sure how you see that it is better than Indy. It is certainly NOT!
      • Hooray!
        I'm thrilled you're coming to Indy, especially since I've been haranguing you for several years! Looks like that membership I bought in Reno paid off.

        I was just reading an article in the Indy Star about Nordstrom's vacating Circle City mall, downtown, and thought - REI - that's the perfect store to fill that gap! I'm a northsider, so am perfectly happy with your Castleton choice; but Circle City would make a statement that you want to serve ALL of Indy. It's adjacent to the Convention Center, which would no doubt be good for everyone - and Simon is likely to make a sweet offer, as it is the anchor store of what is a really important mall to them. Plus, there are a LOT of hikers and cyclists in the downtown and eastside areas.

        Wherever you locate here, WELCOME!
      • REI Downtown
        Locating such a store in the downtown area would make a huge statement for REI! There is certainly prime retail space. I too am disapointed to hear I will have to take an hour and 5 minute bus ride to reach the sited location. With the active and long overdue urban development of our city underway, I see no better way to push our city as the active, healthy, commuter friendly environment it so strives to achieve than locating the mecca of outdoor retailers in the heart of our city.
        REI, we hope you're listening.
      • but...
        There is no building in downtown Indy like the building REI has in Denver. Unless I'm missing something. I don't go down there too much. Castleton will be a great spot for me.
      • compass
        I am looking for the compass Suzie Crouch used in her class last night 8-15-12. I did not find this compass in your store. Could you check to see if you have one for me please? Can you hold one for me ? Thank you! Lorna Wheet

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