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Chelsea, NY: Your 2-Minute Retail Tour

“The High Line is constantly being rejuvenated with new work, and it’s always a very exciting place to visit”




Manhattan is home to five well-known boroughs where more than 1.5 million people reside. Located on Manhattan’s West Side is Chelsea, one of the oldest New York neighborhoods to keep its original name, which was derived from a Georgian-style house and estate occupying current 21st and 24th Streets, and from the Hudson River to Eighth Avenue. Since then, Chelsea has expanded to almost six times its initial size. As of 2021, Chelsea’s population was just short of 151,924 residents, according to NYU’s Furman Center, with the median household income being $98,510 – 37 percent higher than the city average.


The West Chelsea Arts District sets Chelsea apart from other boroughs, according to Anne Kong, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the city’s visual arts community moved away from SoHo and into Chelsea for cheaper rent and larger spaces. Tenth and 11th Avenues and 18th and 28th Streets became known as the West Chelsea Arts District, making the borough an international hub for contemporary art. West Chelsea saw significant retail growth in the last 10 years, tripling since 2005. Currently, 10th Avenue is dominated by active ground-floor retail spaces.

Chelsea, NY: Your 2-Minute Retail Tour 📷 istock/krblokhin


The High Line is a continuous, nearly mile-and-a-half greenway covered in more than 500 species of plants and trees. Originally used as a railway to deliver food to lower Manhattan in the 19th century, the High Line is now home to public community programs, artwork and performances. “The High Line is constantly being rejuvenated with new work, and it’s always a very exciting place to visit,” says Kong. “I think it has kept Chelsea a very important destination for visitors.”

Chelsea, NY: Your 2-Minute Retail Tour ABOVE: With it’s nearly mile-and-a-half of greenway, Chelsea’s High Line attracts tourists and locals alike.


The biggest difficulty for both retailers and residents is finding affordable real estate, according to Kong. Renting a storefront in Chelsea averages around $1000 to $2600 per square foot. As for the benefits of opening a store in Chelsea, Kong says thanks to the High Line, the borough is abundant in foot traffic.


“Chelsea has beautiful architecture that has never gone out of style,” says Kong. “The hospitality is just amazing.”




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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