Chelsea–once considered the epicentre of the New York art world–has in recent years become unaffordable for most galleries, with all but those at the very top forced to leave for cheaper neighbourhoods such as the Lower East Side or Tribeca.
Now the developer behind the Zaha Hadid-designed luxury condos adjacent to the High Line, West Chelsea’s elevated park, hopes to lure 15 galleries to ground-floor spaces being built in and around the complex, which boasts 39 flats including a $50m penthouse.
Paul Kasmin is the first gallery to sign up to the scheme. The New York dealer, who first launched his eponymous gallery in SoHo in 1989 and now has three venues in Chelsea, will open a 5,000 sq. ft space in Hadid’s futuristic-looking building at 520 West 28th Street. Kasmin will also rent a smaller space in the High Line Nine building, which houses a cluster of galleries directly under the elevated park.
The aim, says Greg Gushee, the executive vice president of Related property company, is to create a new type of gallery complex with all facilities built in, including bars and cafes, offices, storage spaces, concierge and security. “It is a completely new-to-market concept that [will] allow domestic and international galleries to showcase their collections while we take care of all of the mundane details,” Gushee says.
The galleries at 520 West 28th are due to open this spring, while the adjacent stand-alone exhibition spaces, as well as those in the High Line Nine building, are due for completion later this year.