Chelsea Market, which celebrated its 12th anniversary this year, is a 1.2m sq ft office and retail development in New York City’s Meatpacking District.
Office tenants include Google and Food Network, but it is the food offer on the lower floors that is the primary draw, attracting around six million visitors a year. Jamestown invested in the market in 2003 and earlier this year it opened additional retail space on the lower-ground floor.
Property Week caught up with Michael Phillips, principal and president of Jamestown, to find out how the market has evolved since the company took a stake in it.
What attracted you to the market?
It already had a handful of tenants in the food hall and as the Meatpacking District was beginning to draw in new tenants, we saw an opportunity to create a hub for the community and a space for technology companies.
What condition was Chelsea Market in when you bought it?
Under Irwin Cohen’s ownership, the warehouses that had once housed the Nabisco factory, where the Oreo was invented, had been combined. Early tenants like Manhattan Fruit Exchange and Sarabeth’s had moved in and the market was starting to emerge as a community hub for the Meatpacking District.
How much work was needed to make Chelsea Market habitable by modern occupiers?
It has taken hard work by our team to make sure that our tenants are able to utilise their space, whether through updating the building’s infrastructure or creating improved access for visitors and employees.
What changes have been made to the building?
Our focus is to find better ways to utilise the historic structure and provide easier access for guests. The new Chelsea Local added new amenities for our neighbours by opening up former storage space on the lower level and providing direct access via a new entrance off 15th Street.
We always look for new ways to surprise and delight our guests with new tenants and activities. The lower-level expansion will continue over the next couple of years as we activate more of the space and find new food concepts and retailers to join our community.