REI Selects Contractor for Eastern Region Distribution Center

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and apparel, today announced that it has selected Lauth Property Group, LLC to design and construct REI’s eastern region distribution center in Bedford, Pa.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and apparel, today announced that it has selected Lauth Property Group, LLC to design and construct REI's eastern region distribution center in Bedford, Pa.

“REI's eastern region distribution center will play a pivotal role in our ability to continue providing a high level of customer service and product selection as we grow, particularly in the east,” said Chris Joyce, director of operations for REI's eastern region facility. “We set out to identify a general contractor who has significant experience in the design and construction of distribution centers, who offered competitive pricing, and who could finish the project within our timeline. I'm confident that we've found that in Lauth, and that they'll be a great partner.”

Indianapolis-based Lauth Property Group, which plans to utilize Pennsylvania subcontractors for the majority of the project, has constructed and developed more than 12 million square feet of class-A bulk distribution centers over the past five years, for a wide variety of clients including Guitar Center, Best Buy, Saint-Gobain and Target. REI's distribution center will be Lauth's fifth construction project in Pennsylvania.

REI's new 400,000 square-foot distribution facility, located in Bedford, Pa., will measure approximately 420 ft. by 950 ft. on a 39.1 acre site at the Bedford County Business Park II. Ground breaking and construction for the project will begin this spring, for full-capacity completion in early 2008. Upon completion, the distribution center is expected to process approximately 40 percent of REI's total product flow. REI's distribution system currently supports the company's 82 retail stores, which last year reported sales of more than $1 billion. The Bedford facility will complement REI's Sumner, Wash.-based distribution center, and will employ nearly 350 full-, part-time and seasonal employees.

“We are excited to partner with REI on this important project as it further demonstrates our ability to creatively design and deliver complex, specialized industrial facilities,” said Mike Jones, senior vice president at Lauth. “Our leadership and expertise will streamline the entire delivery process for REI.”

Lauth Property Group was selected for the project because of its proven track record of providing high quality projects from concept to completion, according to Robert Hutson, of CB Richard Ellis, the supply chain real estate group hired by REI to assist the with its contractor selection process. “Lauth also understands REI's commitment to environmental stewardship, and will work closely with us to design an environmentally sensitive building that's in alignment with our values as an outdoor company,” added Joyce.

Since 1977, Lauth has been building facilities for clients to lease or own throughout the U.S. Lauth's years of solid experience, coupled with completed projects worth billions, make it a leading national privately held development and construction firm. Lauth delivers virtually any type of facility including healthcare, industrial, office or retail from offices in Indianapolis, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Orlando and Phoenix.

REI is an outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its 2.8 million active members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – and – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for human-powered outdoor recreation, including its own line of award-winning gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. As an active supporter of communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, gear donations and financial contributions.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Photos and b-roll of REI's Sumner, Wash.-based distribution center and retail stores are available upon request.