Once an industrial and distribution area serving the Hudson River docks, Chelsea is now the epicenter of an evolving art, technology, retail and dining scene. Residences have sprung up as quickly as media companies housed in old warehouses. Development along the High Line has created an explosion of new restaurants and retail shops. Reminiscent of Soho in the 90’s, Chelsea is at the heart of New York’s art scene with over 350 galleries.
Architecture continues to the hallmark of the west Chelsea area, with striking examples of the work of Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Neil Denari. West Chelsea is rapidly becoming the hub for innovative businesses, as well. Google relocated its corporate headquarters to 111 Eight Avenue, and IAC has moved into its Frank Gehry-designed glass monolith at 18th and the West Side Highway.
The High Line
Two of the industrial structures that define the West Chelsea area are Starrett-Lehigh and the High Line. The High Line, New York’s elevated public space promenade, runs from Greenwich Village to Chelsea along Manhattan’s west side. Its second phase of development (three are planned) from 21st Street to 30th Street was recently completed, allowing Starrett-Lehigh tenants direct access via a new 26th Street entrance. Not surprisingly, Starrett-Lehigh is home to Diller Scofidio & Renfro, the visionary design firm that helped transform the High Line into a public park.
A few blocks north, at 30th Street, the newest section of the High Line will end with a panoramic view of the West Side Rail Yards, where a 13-million-square-foot mixed-use development, Hudson Yards, combined with planned extensions to the existing No. 7 subway line, will draw Manhattan’s center of gravity westward.
West Chelsea is one of the most important areas of the New York art world. From 16th Street to 28th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, there are more than 350 art galleries, such as the Gagosian, Pace Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, David Zwimer, Barbara Gladstone, and auction house, Phillips de Pury.
FOOD & RESTAURANTS
Within Chelsea are a wide variety of dining options, including Cookshop, Red Cat, Hill Country and Son Cubano. Hotel standouts include The Americano at Hotel Americano and El Quijote at Hotel Chelsea.
BARS & NIGHTLIFE
Entertainment and nightlife options are plentiful, offering an authentic atmosphere in settings like the Frying Pan, The Ainsworth, Black Door, Chelsea Brewing and Tillman’s Bar and Lounge. Comedy clubs include the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and the People’s Improv Theatre.
LIVE & STAY
Chelsea encompasses a mix of high-rise residential buildings, traditional townhouses and converted factories and warehouses. The neighborhood is also home to a variety of high-end hotels, including Hotel Americano, The Standard, the unique Jane Hotel and the historic Hotel Chelsea.
Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, a 28-acre waterfront sports village along Manhattan’s Hudson River, offers a host of sports-related activities (golf, bowling, skating, batting cages, and rock climbing), as well as a deluxe spa and multitude of restaurants. Enjoy the scenery, walk, jog or bike the 5.29 mile promenade along the West Side Highway.
WHAT’S TO COME
West Chelsea continues to be an area of change and innovation. Hudson Yards, a mixed-use development over the eastern and western portions of the MTA West Side Rail Yards, will contain 26-acre site of new office development along with residential, retail and hotel space. In addition, the No. 7 subway line will be coming to 34th Street and 11th Avenue in 2014.