West Chelsea North – West 28th, 29th and 30th Streets – is the fastest-growing new gallery area in the West Chelsea Special District, though “fastest-growing” hardly describes it. Actually “new” doesn’t either, since there have been 15 galleries on West 29th since 1998, more than there have been ground floor galleries on West 25th Street (only two fewer if all the palaces in the Pace panoply are counted). But fastest will do, and with the quality and pedigree of the buildings and their builders may well prove to be the most interesting development, so to speak, in the district, all due to come on line by 2016. The graphic below shows just how quickly the change is coming:

 

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Hudson Yards

The development south of West 30th Street, which follows below, is stunning, but is only half the story. The big development is Hudson Yards, which is actually the southern third of the much larger Midtown West project. Rising from West 30th to West 34th Street and from Tenth to Twelfth Avenues and built on a platform over the rail-yards, Hudson Yards will be the first section to be completed. It will include offices, retail, parks, a cultural center, luxury residential, a school and numerous recreational facilities. It will be the largest project undertaken in Manhattan since the rebuilding of the WTC.

Which means that the transition into this city-within-a-city will be West Chelsea North, and the true beneficiaries will be any galleries smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity before the rents become much-higher market rents. To get in now may mean getting the last good deals available in West Chelsea.

Hudson yards

The first stage of the Midtown West Project, Hudson Yards should be mostly completed by 2017, or so the projections say. West Chelsea North is the area immediately south of the towers shown (photo courtesy: The Related Group)

West 19th Street to West 30th Street

The table below lists all residential buildings and number of units – existing, under construction or planned – in West Chelsea between West 19th Street (read about it here) and West 30th Street (between and including 10th and 11th Avenues), or about 4,300 luxury or ultra-luxury condos and rental units. So ultra, in fact, that Souri High Line (above) is touted to have a swimming pool in every unit.

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West 28th Street to West 30th Street

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West Chelsea North – All Residential Development

Red – Built or Scheduled for completion early 2014

Green – Planned or scheduled for completion late 2014

Blue – Existing Residential

The graph below illustrates the number of mostly luxury residential units per street, with 60% of all residential units in West Chelsea’s 12 blocks occupying just three blocks north of West 27th Street, or almost 2,600 new units. This translates into more than that number of regular residents, each a potential new upper-income gallery denizen and art buyer. This is amazing to me when I think back just three years ago when this was the frontier of the area, a dead zone of abandoned taxi garages. Incidentally, the total of all residential units in West Chelsea’s 12 block area is roughly 70% of all luxury units in the 40 blocks of the UES between East 59th and East 79th Streets, and between Fifth and Park Avenues along Madison Avenue. West Chelsea is fast maturing into “The Upper East Side on The Hudson”.

 

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When you see West 28th Street today, think West 23rd and 24th Streets tomorrow. By the way, roughly 60,000 SF of ground floor retail will becoming available between now and 2016. Its a bargain today, as the graph shows above, but it won’t be for long.

subway7

Finally, the No. 7 Subway Extension at West 34th and Eleventh Avenue will open in Spring 2014, although the terminus itself won’t be completed until 2015. Less than a half mile walk from West Chelsea North by street, the High Line or through the coming-soon Hudson Boulevard Park, this line connects West Chelsea not only to Times Square and Grand Central, but it also creates a direct shot to MoMA’s PS 1. The Art to Art Express (when it works that is).

 

Contact Earl if you want to know more.

 

Zaha Hadid is gracing West Chelsea with a curvy wonder on West 28th for Related, while Cary Tamarkin has his sights aimed at West 29th Street. Blackhouse | Oriell, at 524-532 West 29th Street, will be demolishing property (one-time home to Sean Kelly and Peter Blum galleries) to construct Soori High Line, a super-luxury resort-style condo building, with private swimming pools, fireplaces and 18′ ceilings in every unit. Blackhouse is also developing 522 West 29th Street first. Kadima Tenth Avenue SPE (Maestro) and Avinash K. Malhotra Architects is constructing a massive glass 321-unit project that straddles the High Line on West 28th and at 29th Streets and includes 514-520 West 29th Street. Taken together with Robert A.M. Stern’s 500 West 30th Street tower, West Chelsea North is shaping up to be a roiling hotbed of some of the city’s most creative architecture.

Meanwhile, Related’s 529 West 29th Street is offering 11,000 SF (4,000 SF on the ground, with 7,000 RSF on the lower level) of premium gallery space for the bright, forward-thinking dealer, who could also make a real deal at 540 West 28th Street on a 1,900 SF gallery with 15′ ceilings for under $14,000 per month. Those are 2005 prices.