After years of scrutiny, the New York City Planning Commission voted unanimously today to approve the expansion of Chelsea Market-- with a few conditions. The project struggled for a long time to please the property's owners, market-goers and neighbors who feared that their views of the High Line would be compromised in the build. While details of the final design are not entirely available, we know it is shorter and more laid-back than previous attempts, which is what ultimately won the community board's approval.
Studios Architecture decided to shift the new Chelsea Market addition back away from the High Line park as many residents and visitors worried it would block views and clog up the beloved pathway. The building was also rezoned into the Special West Chelsea District, where it will have to adhere by special rules including contributing funds and space for High Line amenities (meaning bathrooms, finally!), as well as for nearby affordable housing.
City members have long been resisting various designs presented by Studios, demanding that the building integrate more smoothly into the existing neighborhood. The new design is therefore 20% shorter to line up with adjacent buildings and protect High Line vistas. The cantilever bars that support the glass structure on top of the old market are also covered in terracotta to harmonize with surrounding buildings. The lifted structure would also allow for a green terrace that will echo the park design right below. The addition will add 330,000 square feet of office space that will hopefully attract young, creative professionals who don’t mind a steller High Line view!
The plans will now head to city council for further approval.
via A/N Blog