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Rivian to expand again as EV maker ramps up production

The Normal Planning Commission next week will take up a potential change to Rivian's site plan.

The electric vehicle maker is proposing a 623,000-square-foot addition on the west side of the current building. That would bring the total size of the facility to about 3.7 million square feet. Town staff indicated that compares to the 2.4 million square feet in the facility when Rivian took over the moribund Mitsubishi property in 2017.

"Rivian’s focus on continued vertical integration requires more production space inside the plant. This expansion is a planned increase of our footprint in Normal as we continue to invest in the facility and ramp our production," said plant spokesperson Zach Dietmeier.

In May the town approved additions to the east and northeast totaling about 96,000 square feet and a 60,000-square-foot charging canopy. The town said the charging canopy is finished, but an approved access point on College Avenue has not yet begun construction. A previous amendment to the site plan came in July 2020 and added about 576,000 square feet. Many of those additions are done.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the latest expansion at its Nov. 4 meeting.

The proposed change would eliminate 218 parking places on the west side, but documents town staff prepared for the Planning Commission indicate the company plans to compensate by running shuttles from parking on the northeast side of the facility.

Staff recommend approval of the change and if the commission approves the town council would take up the proposal at its second November meeting.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.