Mike Weiss Gallery is the latest Chelsea gallery to fall victim to the development boom on Manhattan’s West Side—though in Weiss’s case, skyrocketing prices aren’t the problem.
The deal-breaker? Issues with construction on The Fitzroy, the Art Deco-inspired luxury condos developed by JDS and Largo Investments that are rising next door on West 24th Street. Weiss told ArtNews that the gallery was "significantly damaged" during the demolition of the previous building. But the problems didn’t stop there. According to Weiss, he, his employees, and his artists have also been dealing with verbal assaults from the site’s construction workers.
"We survived three hurricanes, a drop in the economy, but we can’t seem to survive this," Weiss told ArtNews. The gallery opened at its space on West 24th Street in 2003. In the past year and a half, Weiss says he called 311 80 times and filed a lawsuit against the construction company. Eventually, he decided it wasn’t worth the fight. Weiss said the last straw came when the construction company announced they’d be putting "30 to 40 feet" of scaffolding in front of the gallery’s entrance. The gallery’s final show closed on October 8th.
While some galleries have moved to other neighborhoods, like the LES and Chinatown, and with the New York Times citing Harlem as the next Chelsea (yeah—that happened), Weiss told ArtNews he has no active plans to reopen the gallery elsewhere.
JDS and Largo Investments issued the joint statement on the heels of the ArtNews article:
The Fitzroy has not been issued any violations by the Department of Buildings related to the numerous baseless complaints from the Mike Weiss Gallery. Additionally, the frivolous injunction filed by the galley was withdrawn. The partnership behind The Fitzroy has a long history developing and building successful projects that enhance their neighborhoods with minimal impact to their immediate surroundings, a track record the partnership takes great pride in. JDS Development Group & Largo Investments do not take their responsibilities as good neighbors lightly, and they are excited to bring this dynamic new addition to the West Chelsea community.