REI, the popular outdoors retailer, will open at Uptown Boca, the mixed-use center rising on Glades Road west of Boca Raton.

Kayakers, bikers and campers, rejoice.

REI is coming to suburban Boca Raton, the first store in South Florida for the popular sporting goods retailer.

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) will lease 23,000 square feet in Uptown Boca, a mixed-use center being built at Glades Road and 95th Avenue South, just east of State Road 7.

The store, which will open in fall 2020, is set to feature a wide assortment of gear and apparel for lovers of the outdoors.

The Seattle-based retailer is a longtime favorite of Uptown developer Brian Schmier, who said he was “thrilled” to seal a deal to bring REI to Boca Raton.

He’s not alone. People who shop at REI either in person or online tend to be devoted fans of the store, which offers outdoors programs, expert classes and trips.

Schmier, chief executive of Schmier Property Group, likened the store to a first round draft pick and said the store fits his goal of making Uptown Boca a go-to lifestyle center.

“Our objective at Uptown Boca has been to create a vibrant destination with new and unique tenants. REI, with its diverse and loyal membership and customer base, will be a regional draw for the project and an asset to the community,” Schmier said. “The active lifestyle of our South Florida community represents the perfect customer profile for REI.”

REI has 162 stores in 39 states and the District of Columbia, but only two in Florida: Jacksonville and Winter Park. The Uptown Boca store will be REI’s third Florida location, and the only one in South Florida.

Other REI stores are planned in Gainesville and Tampa.

For those not familiar with REI, it is a consumer co-op, meaning it has no shareholders. Instead, purchases are distributed to non-profits and customers who sign up to be REI members.

In Florida, the company has donated more than $140,000 to groups such as the Florida Trail Association and the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association of Florida. Plans are to invest further in local communities as the store nears its opening.

REI members receive discounts and deals.

In Boca Raton, REI will offer personal outfitting services for customers planning their next adventure. It also will feature a bike shop.

REI Boca Raton also will offer a range of outdoor programs. Last year, REI led more than 325,000 people across the country in outdoor activities.

Gail Kirkland, REI regional director for the South, said Boca Raton was a good fit for the company, thanks to its beaches and outdoor lifestyle.

“From biking to swimming to a picnic on the beach, or goal is to offer everything our members and customers need to enjoy their favorite activities outside,” Kirkland said.

In addition to REI, Uptown Boca will have a host of other retailers, some just added to the roster. They include Sloan’s Ice Cream; Naked Taco, a full-service Mexican restaurant with a location on Miami Beach; L’Eggspress, serving breakfast and lunch; plus Tide Cleaners dry cleaner.

Other tenants already announced include Lynora’s Osteria, Lucky’s Market, Silverspot Cinema, Bolay, BurgerFi and Chick-fil-A.

Uptown Boca will feature 155,000 square feet of retail plus 456 luxury apartments.

The 38-acre project rising on former farmland is being developed by Schmier Property Group, Giles Capital Group and Rosemurgy Properties in partnership with Wheelock Street Capital.


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