Hook-up culture! Tesla courting condo developers to include car chargers

Amping up: Tesla East Coast manager Jeremy Snyder says he’s lobbying developers to include charging stations in new condos to promote electric vehicle ownership.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

They want a plug in every garage.

Electric car maker Tesla Motors, which opened a showroom in Red Hook in March, is racing to fill Brooklyn with charging stations so borough drivers will buy its cars. The company recently put nearly 70 jacks in Manhattan parking garages — now there is one every five blocks — but it had to shift gears in relatively public-garage-sparse Brooklyn and instead plug into luxury condo development, a company honcho said.

“Brooklyn is a tricky market — Manhattan, oddly enough, is much easier,” said Tesla East Coast director Jeremy Snyder. “One thing I’m interested in is working with developers to ensure charge stations get specced into the garages that go into all of the new and re-purposed construction.”

There are fewer than two-dozen public vehicle-charging stations in Brooklyn, according to tracker plugshare.com.

And Tesla is wiring up every luxe crib it can, giving developers the charging stations for free if they install special high-voltage circuits in their buildings, development insiders say.

“We provide the infrastructure, and they provide the chargers. We’ve been actively working with them on almost every project we’re working on — seven right now, including two on the market and two that sold,” said Brendan Aguayo, managing director of Halstead Property Development Marketing, who cited hook-ups at Boerum Hill’s 31-condo 610 Warren Street, all 10 spaces at the Bam-adjacent townhouses State and Bond, and in the garage at Williamsburg’s just-finishing, 216-unit Oosten.

Brownstone Brooklyn condo development is buzzing with Tesla, according to a real estate broker who pointed to upcoming Boerum Hill 30-unit digs 465 Pacific Street and almost-done Gowanus 32-unit 345 Carroll Street.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in all the new developments that are happening right now,” said Millie Perry of Stribling & Associates.

Still, the cars have a niche market, and in a borough of rooftop dog runs and rooftop basketball courts, charging stations are not what makes one building stand out to buyers, but the charger-as-amenity will gain significance when Tesla rolls out its for-the-masses-priced Model 3 late next year, Aguayo said.

“I don’t know if it’s throwing anything over the top now, but as time progresses and Tesla becomes more name-brand, it’s going to be more appealing to a larger demographic,” he said.

Oh, and they’re laying cable in Brooklyn’s garages too, according to a Fort Greene operator who got hooked up two months ago.

“We had a customer who purchased a Tesla and ask us if we would install a charging station. I called up Tesla and they paid for it 100 percent,” said Robert Kotler of Discount Parking on Ashland Place.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Brooklyn electrified: Rechargable-car company Tesla Motors opened its Red Hook showroom in April.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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