By on March 16, 2021

Electric-truck startup Rivian has signed the lease for its first showroom in New York City and has selected one of the trendiest spots in Brooklyn. Once known for its high crime rate, Williamsburg has undergone three decades of gentrification and is now awash with luxury retailers normally reserved for the swankiest parts of Manhattan. In the 1990s, the neighborhood was still rough around the edges but had started to become ground zero for the East Coast hipsters, starving artists, and young musicians who gradually influenced its trajectory. The next three decades saw Williamsburg moving steadily upward with rental prices keeping pace. Riverside warehouses were replaced with high-rise hotels, the average household income closed on six figures, and dog parks are situated conveniently near designer ice cream shops.

It’s now the perfect place for a showroom dedicated entirely to electric vehicles, especially one that seems like a merger between Tesla Motors and REI. 

That’s not an insult to Rivian, either. Tesla and REI are companies catering to an extremely loyal customer base with money to burn. If you need to select a demographic, there are definitely worse options to choose from. For example, extremely poor people probably wouldn’t have enough money for a new car, let alone an electric pickup starting somewhere around $75,000. But someone who just dumped six grand on camping gear might.

Rivian made its announcement on Monday, with neither hide nor hair of an official press release, with Bloomberg accidentally becoming its PR department. But we managed to confirm that the Amazon-backed had indeed moved on a slice Brooklyn, with similar showrooms being planned for California and Illinois.

From Bloomberg:

California-based Rivian is opening a New York flagship in Williamsburg, according to a statement Monday. The lease at 360 Wythe Ave. spans more than 12,000 square feet (1,115 square meters) and will be a showroom for electric vehicles.

Williamsburg’s retail corridors have stayed busy during the pandemic, and the area’s “relatively young, relatively wealthy” residents were also part of the allure for Rivian, said Ken Copeland, partner and chief investment officer at Flank, the developer of 360 Wythe.

The company’s first model will be the R1T Launch Edition, priced from $75,000 (minus the $7,500 federal EV tax credit) and available in June. Deliveries of the Rivian R1S SUV are supposed to start in August, with an MSRP of $77,500 before tax credits. Alternative (non-introductory) trims for both models are supposed to become available early in 2022.

Sales will be direct-to-consumer, like Tesla, with the brand hoping to establish 40+ service locations inside the United States. Showrooms like the one in Brooklyn are designed to pique interest and will likely have a way of getting the ball rolling on making a purchase. But they’re not supposed to become delivery centers — more like an interactive gallery.

[Images: Rivian]

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11 Comments on “Rivian Plans Showroom for Trendiest Part of Brooklyn...”


  • avatar
    stuki

    Surprise, surprise….

    Now isn’t that sign of a “company,” an “innovative” one no doubt per some “prospectus,” well versed at producing and selling a good with huge returns to manufacturigscale, as efficiently and cost effectively as possible…..

    I mean, what could possibly be more important for someone in a massive-returns-to-scale industrial field, a highly competitive and low margin one to boot, than how “hip” and “trendy” the address of some dealership sounds to yahoos on Fed welfare?

    Heck, maybe they can sell coffee as well. And handbags. After all, those great value creators over at Cadillac, also “innovative no doubt, figured doing just that across the river was their great competitive advantage in this world. And, mark my words, Cadillac will no doubt be selling promises about selling “electric” “cars” in select yahootopias across “financial centers” as well. Sooner rather than later. After all, that’s something any moron can do, no matter how undifferentiatedly incompetent.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    How many fake pre-orders are there for this fake truck anyway? And have they already delayed their fake manufacturing date by another year?

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    How many fake pre-orders are there for this fake truck anyway? And have they already delayed their fake manufacturing date by another year?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s not a fake truck – that’s that other company. This here’s a real electric Ess-Yoo-Vee. You know it’s real because they got the Ford Flex tooling to build it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “with the brand hoping to establish 40+ service locations inside the United States”

    Gotta start somewhere, but that’s hardly nationwide coverage.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Rivian Plans Showroom for Trendiest Part of Brooklyn”

    This is another class-envy editorial masquerading as news. You don’t see high-end brands putting showrooms in the bad parts of town, or where none of the neighbors can afford their products. Mercedes-Benz, for example, does the same thing.

  • avatar
    wolfwagen

    Matt,
    You are dead on about the description of Williamsburg. I worked in the area in the late nineties (right about the time the hipsters and the “Artists” started moving into the area) for a garbage company located along the east river. The garbage company is now long gone but in its place towering apartment buildings. It really freaked me out when I took the family a few years ago to Smorgasburg in the nearby park which was not a good place to be a little over 20 years ago
    The Rivan is perfect there – a poser vehicle for posers

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    It makes sense for Rivian to set up shop in Williamsburg. There’s the stereotype of Prius or old 240 Volvo driving hipster there however there are plenty of small truck, Tacoma and Ranger owners as well as full sizers who would be interested in one. You’ll also see vintage FJ Land Cruisers and Land Rovers parked on the street.

  • avatar
    TR4

    I’d have thought NYC is one of the worst places to own an electric vehicle. It is generally acknowledged that having your own private garage (or at least driveway) is necessary to allow charging at home. How many Williamsburg residences meet this criterion?

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