Facebook Buys REI’s New HQ in Coronavirus Sale

Social media behemoth Facebook bought the new REI headquarters in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood earlier this year, a move that ensures the iconic outdoor retailer will still be able to stay in the U.S.

The iconic Portland outdoors retailer announced May 20 it will move to a new headquarters in the city by the sea in its first major headquarters move in 15 years, according to reports. The sale to Facebook raises some concerns and questions about an organization that violates users’ privacy and uses its clout to monopolize the Internet.

“Facebook has not comment on speculation in the media,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

It was around $10 million, according to most analysts. A price tag of that size is less than what REI has said it is looking for, and the sale to the company that’s likely to change how consumers use the Internet can be seen as a way to get around taxes and indirectly raise wages.

The deal comes as REI is reportedly considering opening new stores around the world.

The Real Deal reports REI was originally being solicited for leases and considering property prices in other parts of the U.S. However, it seems most REI locations are outside of the U.S. and a spokesperson declined to comment on a global expansion.

When Facebook bought the first office where REI has its headquarters, it ended speculation that the iconic outdoor retailer was going to move to China. Instead, its longtime home became the REI Boston campus near Route 128.

Facebook has essentially done the same thing with REI, giving it a new headquarters in Seattle as well as a commitment to remain headquartered in the U.S. and not to open stores in foreign markets.

REI’s new real estate deal is notable for its size, as it’s one of the largest single office office sales in the city for over a decade. It would’ve been about $10 million pricier, according to most estimates, if REI had gone outside of its current area.

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