Last week we reported that the obituaries for the Chelsea art gallery scene were a bit premature. Though a number of galleries have shuttered because of soaring land values, rising rents and problems with construction of new luxury condo buildings, the Related Companies is planning 15 new gallery spaces in the neighborhood. The High Line Nine on West 27th Street, modeled on the European galleria, will house nine of the galleries, along with a wine bar, cafe, and other amenities.
Now comes news that will bury the premature obituaries even deeper in the ground: developer Sherwood Equities has announced that it will be bringing a small museum and four art galleries to the base of its condo development at 500 West 21st Street, Curbed reports. The Kohn Pederson Fox-designed building will become home to the New York outpost of Japan’s Sato Sakura Museum as well as to the Washburn Gallery, relocating from 20 West 57th Street; Galleria Ca’d’Oro; Praxis International Art Gallery; and YSP Gallery.
The Sato Sakura Museum, which has two locations in Japan, will occupy 2,250 square feet on the ground floor of 500 West 21st Street, along Tenth Avenue. The four galleries will be divided between an additional 5,320 square feet. Jeffrey Katz of Sherwood Equities says the company’s decision to bring gallery space to the neighborhood “highlights our commitment to contribute to the neighborhood’s creative culture and vibrancy.”
That vibrancy has been under considerable pressure in recent years, thanks to the mania for building luxury condos near the High Line. In late 2014, developer DDG purchased the small building formerly home to Anton Kern Gallery at 532 West 20th Street and announced its intention in April 2016 to bring a high-end 11-story condo to the site. Similarly, Mike Weiss Gallery on West 24th Street shuttered in October 2016 citing dangerous conditions caused by the construction of the Roman & Williams-designed condo The Fitzroy next door.
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