REI has building permits for a SLO store it still hasn’t confirmed it’s opening

The outdoor chain REI Co-op is moving forward with plans to upgrade a 22,000-square-foot commercial space at the SLO Promenade shopping center, according to documents filed with the city of San Luis Obispo.

Building permits for renovations to the space at 313 Madonna Road, Suite B, have been approved, and it appears that work is underway at the site.

The St. Louis-based firm Van Hoosen Partnership filed paperwork on behalf of REI stating it’s planning building improvements to a 22,373-square-foot unit located next to Sprouts Farmers Market, which is set to open April 3 in a roughly 30,000-square-foot space.

However, despite multiple mentions of the store’s name in SLO planning documents, REI hasn’t revealed yet whether it’s coming for sure.

Ongoing work at the site where REI is anticipated to go in at 313 Madonna Road, Suite B. Nick Wilson

A store spokesperson told The Tribune in an email, “We haven’t yet announced plans for a store in San Luis Obispo, but I will be sure to reach out to you when we do.”

The architectural documents filed with the city in REI’s name make reference to “the future REI” at the Madonna Road site in SLO.

The chain that specializes in products for camping, hiking, cycling, climbing, and yoga — among other activities — has stores throughout the country, including 28 in California.

The REI space envisions a 372-person occupancy, 25 tree removals along with 25 re-plantings, handicap-accessibility upgrades, and bicycle parking.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.