Seattle’s University Village is set to welcome a new addition as a third electric vehicle showroom is scheduled to open in the area. Rivian Automotive Inc., an electric vehicle manufacturer supported by Amazon, will be launching a temporary retail location at 2623 NE University Village St, occupying the former Amazon Books space, according to a report from the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Susie Plummer, the general manager of the shopping center, told the Business Journal that the showroom is expected to begin operations in the late summer and continue until early 2024. Rivian was established in 2009, and 10 years after, in 2019, the company made a deal with Amazon to supply 100,000 customized electric delivery vans by 2030. In addition to this partnership, Rivian also operates a direct-to-consumer business, selling electric trucks and SUVs starting at approximately $70,000.
Rivian’s presence in the Seattle area extends beyond the upcoming pop-up showroom. The company recently secured a lease on a 97,925 square foot warehouse near Tukwila and already has a vehicle service center in Bellevue. While Rivian primarily focuses on vehicle deliveries for its direct-to-consumer model nationwide, the company did have plans for a showroom in Belltown, which have since been withdrawn.
Joining the ranks of electric vehicle brands Tesla and Lucid Motors, which opened their showrooms in University Village last summer, Rivian aims to capitalize on the growing demand for electric vehicles in the region.
The previous occupant of the space, Amazon’s 7,500 square foot bookstore, closed its doors in March 2022. Currently, the area is being used as a pop-up shop for the clothing brand Vuori. However, Vuori is expected to relocate to a permanent space next door, a former Banana Republic location spanning 3,500 square feet. Plans for the former Amazon Books space involve transforming it into a full-service restaurant, as stated by Plummer in January. An announcement regarding the permanent tenant of the renovated space is expected to be made early next year.