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Discovering New York City: Chelsea

May 19th, 2014 / Author: rbielsky

chelsea new york cityChelsea, the western neighborhood of Manhattan, spans from West 14th Street to W 30th, the Ladies’ Mile Historic District to the east (Avenue of Americas and Seventh Avenue), and the Hudson River to the west. Hell’s Kitchen, NoMad, Flatiron, the Garment District, the West Village, and the Meatpacking District are nearby. The name derives from the estate of Thomas Clarke, a British Major who named it after the manor of Chelsea, London.

Chelsea is largely residential with many multi-occupancy buildings. You’ll find single-family brownstones and high-rise public housing projects on the same block, many with stabilized rents. It has many retail businesses that reflect the eclectic ethnic diversity of the area. You will find an impressive mix of antique stores, design boutiques, and the massive Chelsea Market, a former factory tuned into a mini-district of restaurants, bakeries, and gourmet eateries.

Above 23rd Street you will find High Line Park, an elevated second of former track converted into an aerial greenway. There are naturalized plantings, benches and loungers, and occasional performances and attractions. The development of the High Line has turned the area a bit more commercial, but it brings in more visitors.

Originally, Chelsea was a highly industrialized neighborhood. In the mid-1800s, the Hudson River Railroad dominated the area with its tracks. Additionally, numerous distilleries and the Manhattan Gas Works complex inhabited large amounts of space. The industrialization brought many immigrants to the area for work in factories, breweries, lumberyards, warehouses, and the piers. This emigration contributed to the areas diverse ethnic make-up.

Since the mid-1990s, the visual arts community began a gradual migration from SoHo due to increasing rents and competition from retailers. The neighborhood is known for its creative types. It’s full of loft spaces with plenty of light. We often lease these spaces to ad agencies, artists, design studios, photographers, etc. As such, the western side of Chelsea has become a hub of the art world. It contains more than 350 galleries in new, old, and newly-faced buildings that display all varieties of art. This is considered one of the most rapid neighborhood transformations in the city’s history. It’s also home to the Rubin Museum of Art, the Graffiti Research Lab, and the New York Live Arts. The Fashion Institute of Technology and School of Visual Arts also have presences.

The area is known for its social diversity and inclusion. It has a large LGBT-friendly community and hosts many similarly themed events. Chelsea has the highest concentration of gay-operated establishments. The area is full of ethnic restaurants, delis, and clothing boutiques. Most of the businesses in the area are small, independently owned shops that cater to local customers, but there are a few upscale shopping locations, such as the Barneys Co-Op, and Christian Louboutin and Alexander McQueen boutiques.

With luxury and low-income housing, plenty of food options, and a variety of entertainment, Chelsea has a little bit of everything. Other than the concentration of art galleries, it’s one of the milder New York City neighborhoods.

new york city commercial realtyWritten By Robert Bielsky Owner of Manhattan Commercial Realty

Mr. Bielsky holds a national reputation as a leader in the commercial real estate industry. His market expertise, creative deal making skills, and keen knowledge of the art of negotiation have maintained his position at the forefront of the industry.

As the founder and Chairman of Manhattan Commercial Realty he leads one of the most powerful negotiating teams in NYC. With his leadership mCr has maintained a strict dedication to tenant representation, and successfully negotiated over $1 billion in real estate transactions since its inception in 1982.

He is frequently called upon by clients, fellow brokers and industry experts for his opinions on complex litigation, lease negotiations, and to provide clarity on intricate industry matters.

Mr. Bielsky has been a keynote speaker on a multitude of real estate panels and has recently retired as an NCAA Football Referee after a long and distinguished career.

He also is the son of the legendary partisan leader Tuvia Bielski, who led the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews in WW2. His actions were depicted in the movie Defiance (2009), starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jaime Bell.

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