West Chelsea is considered special enough by The City of New York to have been partially landmarked as an official historic district. This means that buildings within the red outlines on the map below cannot be demolished, broken up or altered without approval of plans and permission from The Landmarks Preservation Committee, a process that can be prohibitively lengthy, difficult and costly.What does this mean for you?

For one, it is difficult to impossible to demolish the buildings and replace them with a new structure, so even a Termination Clause in your lease may not be a practical consideration (more on Termination/Cancellation Clauses in future posts). It also means banners, exterior signs, even window air conditioners, all need to be approved by the LPC, even if the Landlord has given you the thumbs-up to proceed with work. In addition, your architect needs to provide stamped drawing for all filings to the LPC (and your Landlord and the D.O.B. for permits), so your soft costs likely will be higher, so ask up front.

When you lease a space for the first time, the Landmark status is clearly an important thing to know. Your architect will know as well, but at the early stages of negotiations, it’s a good thing to ask your broker: is this building landmarked?


Contact Earl if you want to know more.


Landmarked Buildings within the West Chelsea Historic District, roughly running from the northside of West 25th to the southside of West 27th/28th Streets (irregularly including and excluding several properties) between 10th and 12th Avenues. It includes The Starett-Lehigh Building, The Tunnel Warehouse, 547 West 27th Street and 210 Eleventh Avenue.