Rivian, the electric truck startup backed by Amazon and Ford, said Monday that it would open a showroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a neighborhood that hasn’t been remotely cool in at least a decade but also a neighborhood that real estate developers are eager to milk for every last bit of cachet.
From Automotive News:
The lease at 360 Wythe Ave. spans more than 12,000 square feet 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.
Probably every city in the world has a neighborhood like Williamsburg, which in the ’90s was full of warehouses and cocaine, in the ’00s was full of hipsters and cocaine, in the ’10s was full of yuppies and cocaine, and in the ’20s is full of people who make too much money and, I hope, still cocaine.
It was, in other words, the “cool” neighborhood, though these days is mostly useful only if you need something from Urban Outfitters (you don’t). Or if you enjoy spending $20 on breakfast.
What I’m trying to say is that, as the developer quoted in the Automotive News story says, Rivian knows their audience. Anyway, this particular part of Williamsburg — south of Metropolitan Avenue and about a dozen blocks from the nearest subway stop — is distinctly second-tier, at least Apple and Whole Foods could get locations within spitting distance of the L train.
Congratulations, though, Rivian, you’ve managed to score a location in a neighborhood that no self-respecting New Yorker ever thinks about it, though I will concede that Domino Park is nice. Let me know when Smorgasburg opens back up, I can’t wait to sit in line again for several hours to eat mediocre barbecue.