Adventures in Journalism: Finding Tesla’s Secret New York City Showroom

A large part of what we do to write our top stories is investigative work; putting pieces of the puzzle together, or stringing together pieces of information in order to make sense. A lot of times we do this through our media contacts, or through leads that we get from readers and fans.

I was in New York City last week for a media event, and I knew that Tesla Motors was going to open a new showroom there in the next couple of months. A search of the internet and Tesla’s website failed to find the street address. I had emailed my usual contact at Tesla headquarters in California, but didn’t receive a reply that night.

So what do you do when you have a couple of hours to kill before your flight and you’re not the type of guy to go paratrooping?

Tesla had told us that the New York City showroom was in the Chelsea Art District, but that’s a pretty big area. A Tesla forum mentioned that it was on 21st Street, which helped to narrow it down.

I walked down 21st Street from to the docks by 12th Avenue, but there was no luck to be had. I decided to take a closer look at a picture I had uncovered from Tesla’s website for clues.

There weren’t many clues from the architecture, but I noticed what looked like a black bridge of some kind. A quick online search revealed it to be the High Line, an elevated rail line that was once used to handle freight from the waterfront. It is currently being converted into an elevated park, and runs parallel to 10th Avenue.

That narrowed it down a lot, and I was able to track down the location by going up 10th Avenue and checking out buildings near the High Line. It was dark and everything looked different, but the picture confirms that Tesla’s showroom is being built at 511 W 25th Street.

The building directory lists a lot of studios and galleries, which may or may not be moved due to Tesla’s presence. The front door wasn’t locked, but was instead chained together with a red chain and a padlock. Right under the High Line was a series of garage doors, which may be used by Tesla for storage or entry into the building.

There weren’t any Tesla vehicles around, and not even a single Tesla logo in sight. None of the $465 million recently loaned to Tesla will go towards the showroom, but hopefully they will be able to get a few Roadsters in there soon.