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Renderings of some of the commercia and academic developments coming to Manhattan's Chelsea area Renderings of some of the commercia and academic developments coming to Manhattan's Chelsea area
In recent years, the rapidly rising NoMad (once known as the Fur and Flower Districts in parts) and westernmost sections of Chelsea, just off Silicon Alley, have attracted attention from commercial developers as well as residential. Some imaginative projects are in the works, and the momentum shows no sign of slowing down - even as the state of New York went on PAUSE to stem the coronavirus outbreak, a developer announced plans for a new office building just south of the High Line. Below, see the details on that project and other designs from architectural luminaries and development giants.

The Frame Building

541 West 21st Street
Design by Mancini Duffy
Developed by Erbo Properties and Higher Ground Development
8 stories | 65,000 ft2

541-West-21st-Street-01 All renderings of The Frame Building via Mancini Duffy
Half a block from the High Line, a circa-1915 structure is being brought into the 21st century as a new commercial space known as the Frame Building. While the designer seeks to stay respectful of the building's historic context, its history as a warehouse requires the addition of several windows and the expansion of existing ones. A new lobby and glass-walled entry make for a more welcoming street presence, and a roof deck will serve as a gathering area for office tenants and community members alike. The entire project will be underscored by an infrastructure upgrade that includes new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

512 West 22nd Street

Design by COOKFOX
Developed by Vornado Realty Trust
10 stories | 172,700 ft2

512-West-22nd-Street-01 All images via COOKFOX
Like all COOKFOX projects, 512 West 22nd Street was designed to biophilic principles. This one was inspired by the connection to nature via the nearby High Line and views of the Hudson River, and its aesthetic draws on both the historic warehouses and contemporary construction that populate its West Chelsea neighborhood. Future tenants of the LEED Gold certified building will enjoy operable windows, light-filled floors, and a lobby with a curated event space and landscaped viewing garden. But best of all is over 15,000 square feet of outdoor space for occupant use. Landscaped terraces are cut into every floor and populated solely with native plant species.

Chelsea Market Addition

75 Ninth Avenue
Design by Studios Architecture
Developed by Google, Inc
7-story addition | 300,000 ft2

Chelsea Market Renderings of approved design pushed by Jamestown
In 2012, as part of a broader effort to add to the city’s inventory of available office space needed to support the recovery of New York’s economy following the global recession of 2008, the city approved a 300,000 square-foot addition to Chelsea Market. In March 2018, longtime-Chelsea Market owner Jamestown sold the landmarked complex for $2.4B to Google Inc., which already occupied a significant portion of the 1,188,501 square-foot, full-block property. No word on if and when Google will build the Studios Architecture-designed addition, but judging by the tech company's rapid expansion in the city, the proposal is likely still on the table.
Chelsea-Market-03 (Photo: Business Wire)

Hauser & Wirth Gallery Building

542 West 22nd Street
Design by Selldorf Architects
Developed by Hauser & Wirth
5 stories | 36,000 ft2

Selldorf Architects Credit: Selldorf Architects
Selldorf's design for the international, Swiss-based art gallery Hauser & Wirth, is the first purpose-built, ground-up building for the institution. Here, the goal is to create a distinctive space that puts visitors in direct contact with art. Behind its discreet skin are beautifully articulated, variously scaled volumes of space throughout the 36,000-square-foot structure. As in many of Hauser & Wirth’s other locations, this new building on 22nd Street will also feature permanent, site-specific artist interventions in such areas as stairways, elevators, and other spaces.

405 West 13th Street

Design by BKSK Architecture
Developed by Aurora Capital Associates
6 stories | 47,000 ft2

405-West-13th-Street-01 Rendering of 405 West 13th Street via Familiar Control
Up the block from Gansevoort Row, BKSK Architects and Aurora Capital Associates continue to make their mark on the Meatpacking District with the transformation of this onetime pork and poultry storage warehouse. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a repointed brick facade, new windows, a three-story glass addition, and upgraded infrastructure in summer 2018, and work is now nearly complete. Aurora principal Jared Epstein told Commercial Observer that he'd like to see a single tenant take most of the property, but acknowledged that it could be divided between retail and office tenants.

Morgan North Post Office

401 West 29th Street
Developed by Tishman Speyer
10 stories | 630,000 ft2

Credit: Tishman Speyer
For close to a century, the Far West Side held two of Manhattan’s largest postal facilities. Today, the James A Farley Post Office, a 1912 McKim, Mead and White landmark, is being converted into the Moynihan Train Hall annex for Penn Station. A block to the southwest, the less grandiose yet still massive and stately Morgan North facility is about to undergo a conversion of its own. Tishman Speyer plans to retrofit the 10-story, full-block pre-war behemoth into high-tech offices with 17-foot ceilings, capped with a 2.5-acre green roof.

FIT New Academic Building

Design by SHoP Architects
Developed by DASNY
10 stories | 110,000 ft2

FIT-New-Academic-01 All images of FIT New Academic Building via SHoP Architects
A walk down Seventh Avenue takes one past the long-time, esteemed Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) campus, and this building, situated on 28th Street, will act as a glittering new addition to their block long campus. The New Academic Building will be highlighted by a multi-layered glass facade and built to LEED Silver standards with a green roof, solar grid, and state-of-the-art building management systems. Its interiors will have space for classrooms, administrative offices, review and exhibition venues, and a skylit quad that will serve as a center for student life.

1162 Broadway

Design by Morris Adjmi Architects
Developed by Aini Assets
13 stories

1162-Broadway-01 Renderings via Morris Adjmi Architects for Landmarks Preservation Commission
In December 2013, the Landmarks Preservation Commission ("Landmarks") approved plans for a 14-story, 52-key hotel designed by Morris Adjmi Architects to rise at 1162 Broadway. Since then, the certificate of appropriateness has expired and the surrounding hospitality market got significantly more crowded. In light of that, the developer decided to raise a commercial office building on the site in the Madison Square North Historic District. A new presentation shows minor changes to the original design. Manhattan's Community Board 5 recommends approval, stating that “the proposed building has design features compatible and complementary with the district.” Landmarks seemed to agree - the new project was approved.

28 & 7

322 Seventh Avenue
Design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Developed by GDSNY
11 stories | 100,000 ft2

322-Seventh-Avenue-1 All renderings of 28&7 via GDSNY
Across the street from FIT, a once worn-out corner will see a class-A boutique office tower with 13' floor-to-floor heights, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a striking, black-glazed terra cotta grid. Structural columns will be integrated into the facade to allow for column-free workspaces. It will be built to LEED Silver certification with such features as carbon dioxide monitoring, natural lighting, and landscaped outdoor terraces. In addition to the terraces, the building will also offer 24-hour concierge service, a bike room, and a restaurant open to the public.

29th & 5th

3 West 29th Street
Design by Bjarke Ingels Group
Developed by HFZ Capital Group
34 stories | 300,000+ ft2

3-West-29th-Street-1 Rendering of 29th and 5th via HFZ Capital Group
A new skyline has taken shape in NoMad over the past few years, and this office tower on the onetime site of the Bancroft Bank Building will be the newest part of it. HFZ Capital Group's collaboration with the neighboring Marble Collegiate Church allowed it to assemble the necessary air rights, and the design by Bjarke Ingels Group will incorporate sheer glass walls and staggered outdoor terraces. Located just north of Silicon Alley, the offices are being marketed as "Class A+" office space to attract TAMI tenants. Foundation work began in July 2019.

Design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Developed by GDSNY
23 stories | 200,000 ft2

1245-Broadway-01 Renderings of 1245 Broadway via Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Situated on the corner of Broadway and 31st Street, 1245 Broadway's poured-in-place concrete facade and massive punched windows are reminiscent of traditional Manhattan architecture. However, its environmentally conscious design and construction are right in line with contemporary standards. Employees and visitors will arrive to a double-height lobby and take the elevator up to open-plan offices with massive, triple-glazed picture windows. A tenants-only lounge with a skylight, refreshment bar, and variety of seating arrangements is ideal for office meetings or impressing clients. Construction began in fall 2019 and is well underway.

520 West 20th Street
Design by Morris Adjmi Architects
Developed by Elijah Equities
7 stories | 98,000 ft2

520-West-20th-Street-1 All renderings of The Warehouse via Morris Adjmi Architects
Many have lamented the loss of historic buildings in the construction boom, but that is not the case at The Warehouse, a onetime warehouse and distribution factory for the Carolina Manufacturing Company. As the developer says, "instead of cartons and crates, it will host ideas and innovation" in the open-plan offices planned for the building. The new design by Morris Adjmi Architects restores the brick, steel, and concrete structure to its original glory and puts a modern glass addition on top. Several floors will have private terraces, and a roof deck will enjoy 360-degree views of the High Line and iconic Manhattan skyline. Construction kicked off in spring 2018.
The Warehouse (CityRealty | February 2020)

261 Eleventh Avenue
Design by COOKFOX
Developed by L&L Holding and Columbia Property Trust
7 stories | 1,200,000 ft2

261-Eleventh-Avenue-01 All renderings of Terminal Warehouse via COOKFOX
If one building would seem to encapsulate the history of the West Chelsea neighborhood, it would probably be Terminal Warehouse. Originally constructed in 1891, it got its start as a freight distribution hub and served as the heart of New York's shipping industry until the 1930's. Following a brief stint as the home of The Tunnel nightclub in the decadent 1980's, work is now underway to transform it into a new, state-of-the-art office building with street-level shops and restaurants, a central courtyard, and a contemporary glass addition. However, none of these grand plans came at the expense of historic elements like brick masonry, rounded arches, and exposed columns, girders, and joists. With that in mind, it is little surprise that the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the plan.

260 Twelfth Avenue

Designer TBD
Developed by Georgetown Company
25 stories | 1,100,000 ft2

260-Twelfth-Avenue-01 Site photo via Julia Cherrault for Commercial Observer
Georgetown Company has owned a waterfront site near the High Line and Hudson Yards for over 50 years, yet has only recently made plans to build on it in earnest. Plans for a 66-story waterfront hotel were filed in 2008, but not approved. Two years later, the company entered into an easement agreement with the Port Authority to allow for a new Hudson River tunnel, which was later nixed by then-Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. However, the easement expires in September of this year, thus freeing the site up for its next planned project: a half-block office building between West 29th and 30th Streets.

Design by Emil H. Prager
Developed by RXR Realty
633,139 ft2

Pier-57-01 All renderings of Pier 57 via RXR Realty
Pier 57 was originally constructed in the 1950's, and its placement on large concrete caissons secured it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 60 years later, it is set among the High Line, the recently relocated Whitney Museum of American Art, and some of the hottest spots in Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. A renovation and redesign is underway to shape it into a new waterfront office space worthy of Google, and the space will also contain new retail and dining, a large rooftop park with river views, and a marina for motorboats, sailboats, and kayaks.

118 Tenth Avenue

Design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Developed by GDSNY
6 stories | 155,000 ft2

118 Tenth Avenue-03 Previous schematic design. Credit: GDSNY
A stone's throw from the High Line, plans are in place for a six-story boutique office building. Demolition permits were filed for the site's previous occupant, a popular restaurant with a sprawling garden area, in October 2019, but the new development will have a ground-floor restaurant next door to the office lobby. A roof deck will provide a front-row seat to the High Line and the imaginative architecture taking shape all around it. Further amenities are not yet available.
118-Tenth-Avenue-01 118 Tenth Avenue via GDSNY

260 Eleventh Avenue

Design by Richard Rogers
Developed by Vornado Realty Trust
12 stories | 235,000 ft2

260-Eleventh-Avenue-01 All renderings of 260 Eleventh Avenue via Vornado Realty Trust
For more than 60 years, the Italian Renaissance Revival building at 260 Eleventh Avenue served as the headquarters for the Otis Elevator Company. Vornado Realty Trust acquired the site's ground lease in 2015, and has most recently announced plans to renovate and expand the property with commercial tenants in mind. This will include a new, Pompideau Center-inspired annex with exposed structural elements, glass-enclosed floors, and a multi-story atrium. Owing to its location in the West Chelsea Historic District, all these changes must be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Hudson Arts Building

220 Eleventh Avenue
Design by Studios Architecture
Developed by The Moinian Group
10 stories | 200,000 ft2

220-Eleventh-Avenue-01 All renderings of Hudson Arts Building via The Moinian Group
Among the art galleries that made Chelsea famous, another design is taking shape in the form of a prismatic office tower spanning a full city block and featuring interiors with column-free floors and soaring ceilings. The crowning glory is an 11,000-square-foot roof deck, and additional amenities will include a bike room, locker rooms with showers, and private terraces on certain floors. A groundbreaking ceremony took place in February 2020.

On Hold
The Women's Building

550 West 20th Street
Designer TBD
Developed by NoVo Foundation and Goren Group

The Women's Center Chelsea Manhattan Unselected competition design. Credit: Spacesmith; Davis Brody Bond ; ARExA
West Chelsea development
A large Chelsea property once served as an all-female prison. It closed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and the 2010's were marked by efforts to transform it to a place that would better serve women. The NoVo Foundation (a philanthropic group established by Warren Buffett) announced a design competition, and contestants submitted plans with new office space, a new window system, flexible gallery/event space, and a wellness center. But last October, the NoVo Foundation announced the cancellation of the project and the rerouting of its capital into other initiatives that can directly benefit girls and women in need.
550-West-20th-Street-01 The Women's Building via Will Femia

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