REI Co-op announced plans to open its first store on the west coast of Florida in 22,500 square feet at the base of the seven-story Midtown One office tower, a $550 million Midtown Tampa project near West Shore. The store will take the place of a former Men’s Warehouse and sit besides a Whole Foods Market. Doors are expected to open in early 2021.
REI expects to hire up to 45 employees for the new Tampa store.
“Tampa is an incredible community to continue our mission to connect local REI members to the outdoor places and activities they love,” REI regional director for the south Gail Kirkland said in an announcement released through Bromley. “Whether our members are paddling the Hillsborough River or taking a short walk from our store along the Watercourse trail, we can help them prepare for any kind of adventure.”
The Watercourse, a recreational trail measuring a third of a mile, is meant to give Midtown residents, workers and visitors a chance to walk, bike or jog around the 3-acre Midtown Lake, which will include a pier and a dock. With a spot next to the lake, REI will be able to let customers test ride a bike, try out a kayak on the water or drop a fishing line into the lake that is home to fish.
REI is now up to 155 stores in 35 states. It opened its first Florida store in Jacksonville in 2013 and its second in Winter Park in 2017.