Chelsea is well-known by locals and tourists alike for its expressive and diverse culture. With more than 200 art galleries, nearly 2,000 options for food and drinks, and an array of both boutiques and big chains for shopping — all in under one square mile — there’s something to satisfy every taste in Chelsea.
Standout attractions include Chelsea Market, which attracts over 6 million visitors each year and was bought by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc in early 2018, and the High Line, a 1.45-mile urban oasis. Both destinations have played significant roles in the revitalized growth of Chelsea.
Chelsea Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Chelsea is an ideal location for any business seeking to infuse their products and office spaces with creativity. The established arts scene along with SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology attract an innovative and educated crowd with an average age of 25-40. Businesses have their pick of smaller offices in co-working spaces to luxurious, sprawling floors in brick and beam buildings. Based on Q1 2018 leasing data, the average asking rent for Chelsea office space hovers just above $70 per square foot, slightly below the Midtown South average of $78.
Overall, Chelsea features more than 20 million square feet of office space inventory, two-thirds of which is in Class A Buildings. Class A office space in Chelsea costs around $85 per square foot to lease, compared to $55 per square foot for space in a Class B building. Based on publicly available commercial real estate data from Q1 2018, there is an additional 800,000 square feet of office space currently under construction.
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While Chelsea has a smaller tech presence compared to the neighboring Flatiron District, the notable presence of Google and Twitter — along with corporate offices of YouTube, Venmo, Uber, Siegel + Gale, Justworks, and Food52 — make excellent company for those looking to make the move. One of the most recent companies to move to Chelsea is Netflix, who signed an 11,592 square foot sublease for their first New York office space in the fall of 2017.
Chelsea is easily accessible by residents of the five boroughs and nearby suburbs, thanks to several nearby public transit hubs, including Penn Station. Once in Chelsea, most everyday needs are capable of being met within a five-minute walk. In addition to the variety of foods Chelsea Market has to offer, our team recommends Sweets by CHLOE, The Donut Pub, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Chelsea Brewing Pub, La Sirena, Rocking Horse Cafe, Sullivan Street Bakery, Salinas, and The Red Cat. For more info on where to eat and drink in the neighborhood, check out our Chelsea Lunch and Coffee Guides.
Chelsea Neighborhood History
Chelsea is one of the few Manhattan districts still named after the original estate, which grew into a hub for manufacturing companies. Arguably the most famous company was Nabisco, which was redeveloped into the Chelsea Market in 1998.
Industrialization in the 1850s took advantage of access to the Hudson River piers and led to the construction of numerous warehouses, factories, lumberyards, breweries, and tenements. Many of these original buildings have been redeveloped for new businesses and apartments. The Chelsea Historic District was designated in 1971 and last expanded in 1982.
Today, Chelsea is best known for its place at the center of the art world. The neighborhood boasts more than 200 art galleries of varying sizes, and their visitors are a huge source of revenue for local businesses. The galleries are another of Chelsea’s many unique perks to local employees.
Chelsea’s residential and commercial real estate landscape continues to evolve, in part due to Google, WeWork, and the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project. With projected completion in 2024, soon Chelsea will benefit from 16 skyscrapers containing more than 12,700,000 square feet of new office, residential, and retail space. The mix of businesses in Chelsea may begin to shift, as rent prices rise and demand for proximity to both Hudson Yards and the Flatiron District grows.
Re-imagine Your Office Space in Chelsea
Chelsea has an abundance of inspiring office spaces that showcase endless possibilities for remodeling a workspace. In 2011, a 100,000 square foot warehouse building was purchased by British theater company Punchdrunk to create a five-story performance venue “The McKittrick Hotel,” now home to the immersive, site-specific theatrical production Sleep No More, a staple of Chelsea’s entertainment scene. Slightly less elaborate, Google’s Chelsea office is filled with NYC-themed rooms and provides access to floors with ladders as well as elevators, the startup Outbrain is praised for its central conference room “The Fishbowl,” and YouTube has permanent production sets available to their creators.
Getting Around Chelsea
Chelsea is listed among the top 20 most walkable areas in NYC. Walkers have easy access to the High Line and Chelsea Piers, although with the influx of tourists many locals caution against riding a bike along the piers. Bikers will still find incredible ease in getting around Chelsea and have access to bike sharing with CitiBike.
Commuters have no shortage of options to get to work. In addition to commuting through Penn Station, employees can take the A, C, and E trains to Eighth Avenue or F and M trains to Sixth Avenue. Chelsea is accessible by bus routes M7, M10, M11, M12, M14, and M23. Chelsea houses the main entrance to the 34th Street/Hudson Yards station for the 7 train as well as stops for the 1 and 2 trains.