For the past several years, Chelsea’s legendary art scene has been under siege, as an influx of luxury developments along Manhattan’s far west side have pushed the neighborhood’s famed galleries out and down, to neighborhoods like Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
But Related, the developer responsible for the Zaha Hadid-designed luxury condos rising at 520 West 28th Street, along with much of the Hudson Yards megaproject, is taking a different approach: as the company sees it, galleries are the biggest business in town.
“West Chelsea is known throughout the world as a gallery district and that’s why galleries have to be here,” Greg Gushee, executive vice president at Related, told the Wall Street Journal. To that end, the developer is adding 15 new gallery spaces on West 27th and 28th Streets: several will occupy a new space called the High Line Nine, while a few will open within Hadid’s curvy condo building.
The High Line Nine is designed as a European-style galleria featuring a cafe, wine bar, and assorted other amenities (security, a central catering kitchen, garbage removal) in a space located right next to the High Line. The hope is to attract both domestic and international gallery owners who might want a smaller exhibition space in the area, but aren’t up for renting out a larger space. The galleria and other stand-alone spaces will be designed by studioMDA founder Markus Dochantschi.
So far, Related has bigwig gallery owner Paul Kasmin signed on to the project. Kasmin, who already has three galleries in the neighborhood, will be opening a new 5,000 square foot gallery next to the condo tower, as well as taking one of the spots in the galleria. In a statement, he said, “The creation of the High Line and the evolution of Hudson Yards have made this one of the most dynamic parts of the city. This collection of new galleries in this location is an ideal fit for us.”
And Related isn’t the only developer to see big potential in the West Chelsea art market. WSJ points to 540 West 26th Street, where real-estate investment manager and developer Savanna and the Silvermintz family are building a 12,400 square-foot retail space at the foot of their 166,810 mixed-use building, designed with upscale galleries in mind.
- Developers Bet Big on Manhattan Art Galleries [WSJ]
- Is It Time to Say Goodbye to the Chelsea Art Gallery? [Curbed NY]
- 520 West 28th Street [Curbed NY]