Its nine-county draw of more than a million people and easy access to I-75 are two of the biggest reasons REI will take residence in Gainesville, Fla., in 2020.
The 23,000-sq.-ft. store will be located at Butler Town Center, a new addition to the sprawling Butler retail complex in Gainesville. Whole Foods, Cheesecake Factory, and P.F. Changs are among the first tenants to open at the mixed-use project, which will feature luxury retail and residential when it completes its phased opening.
“Alachua County is one of the most beautiful places to get outdoors. It’s the perfect setting for an outdoor-focused, high-quality retailer like REI,” said Deborah Butler, president of Butler Enterprises who helped design and curate the Town Center.
The county features eight state parks, including the 21,000 acre Paynes Prairie Preserve, and more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails.