REI building distribution center in Lebanon

Friday, January 7, 2022, Vol. 46, No. 1

National specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op today announced it is building a distribution center in Lebanon to support its continued growth on the East Coast and in the Midwest and South. Expected to open in fall 2023, the building and its operations will proactively address the employee experience, community engagement and environmental impact.

REI’s Lebanon distribution center will be approximately 400,000 square feet and employ more than 280, the company states. Situated on 41 acres in Wilson County, the facility will be 1 mile from I-40 and three miles from downtown Lebanon at 1400 Murfreesboro Road. The facility will support more than 70 REI stores. Nearly 5.6 million REI members live in the service area of the new distribution center.

Al. Neyer is the co-op’s partner for the new distribution center. The Nashville-based team has supported site selection and land purchase; engaged with Lebanon’s elected officials and economic development council; and facilitated introductions with regional power suppliers. Additionally, Al. Neyer is the architect and general contractor for the project.

“Opening a distribution center in Lebanon strategically positions REI for growth and complements the service areas of our other distribution facilities. Most importantly, the center will reflect the co-op’s values by putting people first and apply a new standard in fighting the climate crisis,” says Bill Best, REI vice president of supply chain. “We have a strong local partner that understands REI’s brand, sustainability ethos and interest to create healthier communities.”

“Al. Neyer’s integrated team of developers, licensed architects, and construction management experts are excited to partner with REI to deliver a best-in-class distribution center that will set an important precedent for sustainability in Greater Nashville and beyond,” states Justin Hartung, Al. Neyer vice president of design-build. “Our team has been working closely with REI over the past year and a half to develop this leading facility that will not only be a great place to work and a great addition to the community, but will also make a lasting positive impact on the environment.”

REI selected Lebanon after looking at several other locations in the south and considering key factors that included, but were not limited to, general population statistics, job market potential, construction readiness, existing regional environmental commitments, and cost to build.