Manhattan's West Side: An Ever Evolving Landscape

Chelsea Galleries HL23 High Line New Constructions Manhattan

Whereas the Upper East Side has long been regarded for its luxury and polish, and the Lower East Side and East Village for their grit and countercultures, Manhattan’s West Side has been charting its popularity for quite some time, and developers are setting off projects to alleviate that demand, especially around Chelsea and Lincoln Square.

Lincoln Square has come a long way since its days as the unsavory San Juan Hill neighborhood, and now, it’s one of the most popular neighborhoods in Manhattan.  In recent history, its status as a desirable neighborhood, thanks in large part to its eponymous cultural center, has led to increasing land prices and with that, tight housing inventory.  Though the ambitious Riverside Center will alleviate some of that market congestion for both condos and rental apartments, it’s likely that its construction will spur on demand in the surrounding area.

In the case of Chelsea, the gallery-rich district has seen an incredible run of new constructions, previously as residential projects appearing along the High Line’s stretch – but now, art gallery-focused projects are returning to the top of developers’ dockets.  Chelsea is notably bookended by the Whitney Museum’s new location to the south and the Hudson Yards megadevelopment to the north.  The latter’s transportation hub – and above ground run of 16 towers – just might spur on foot traffic to the area, just as the High Line had previously done.  It was that same popularity that increased land prices that had squeezed out smaller art galleries; but fortunately, the Wall Street Journal notes that an arts community still has the opportunity to thrive.  To be sure, as Blackrock chairman Laurence D. Fink had previously noted, there are two asset classes that should be on anybody’s mind: contemporary art and Manhattan real estate – Chelsea has a lot of both.