UPDATE to this story January 2, 2016: Lisa Spellman is indeed moving back to West 21st this year as I reported two years ago, and this series of moves on her part was a very smart play. Kudos. It also means that her previous 7,200 SF gallery – with 3,900 SF on the ground floor and 3,300 SF on the lower level – on West 24th is for sale. Offered at $16,000,000, contact me for another smart play, and an excellent investment.
Original story from January 23, 2014:
The new 19-story, 44-unit luxury condo building designed by Foster + Partners and Beyer Binder Belle is about half completed on the former site of the Cold Cave studios and Lisa Spellman’s 303 Gallery, shown below. As reported here a year ago, Lisa took temporary quarters under the High Line in the MDA-designed gallery while construction is on-going at 551 W 21st Street, due to be completed in 2015. 303’s new home will be virtually column-free at the base of the building. This means that the W 24th space under the High Line will be available for lease. With asking rents at 508 West 24th Street across the way at $150/SF last year, expect the leasing numbers to be closer to $175 or $200/SF in 2015.
This is the first stage of a broader development plan for the western gateway to West 21st, as reported here in 2011. Stay tuned as a wall of high-rises continues to ring the two M1-5 zoned warehouse districts at the core of West Chelsea. Hopefully galleries will still be able to stay in the district, but its more likely that rents will inevitably outstrip art sales within the next 5 to 10 years, putting West Chelsea out-of-reach to all but a few well-heeled galleries, perhaps as few as 3% of all galleries in New York.