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Construction Watch: Dark Days Ahead for Chelsea Corner?

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At the tail end of 2006, some low-lying buildings sporting popular local businesses on the west side of Eighth Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets were demolished to make way for a new 50-unit apartment building containing, Chelsea Now reported then, upscale retail on the ground floor. Many moons later the new building?hovering over an A/C/E subway entrance at the corner of 16th Street?is finally showing progress, and as for that "upscale retail," well, that categorization depends on your opinion of toothpaste and them fancy automated teller doohickeys.

According to commercial brokerage Winick Realty's flier for the retail spaces at 131 Eighth Avenue, Bank of America and Duane Reade have already signed on for the now 100% leased building. Très chic! And speaking of broken promises, the structure looks quite different than the rendering in the Winick materials (seen in the gallery above), though we suppose it's still early and that rendering may have just been preliminary. Right now, 131 Eighth Avenue certainly, uh, brightens up the corner, don't you think?

According to DOB records, the building is coming out slightly larger than first announced. Designed by Robert Laudenschlager of SLCE Architects, the 80-foot-tall building has seven stories and 53 units. The project is being developed by Centaur Properties, and that old Chelsea Now story indicated it wasn't yet clear whether this would be condos or rentals. Any fresher intel floating around? Let us know.
· 131 Eighth Avenue [Winick Realty]
· Old and low giving way to new, tall on 8th Ave. [Chelsea Now]
· Thread: 131 Eighth Avenue [Wired New York]