Chelsea, an area that attracts more than 6 million visitors each year, is an eclectic Midtown South neighborhood that is at the heart of one of New York City’s cultural cores. Chelsea is one of the most in-demand submarkets for office space in NYC. It 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. For a neighborhood only a square mile in size (bound by 14th and 34th streets south to north, and 6th Avenue to the Hudson River east to west), there is something to satisfy every taste in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. Those who work in Chelsea will enjoy its abundance of art establishments, restaurants, and transportation options, as well as its proximity to other popular Manhattan neighborhoods like the Flatiron District, West Village, and the central Union Square. If you’re in the market for office space in Chelsea, our brokers can help you find your ideal space at the right price — contact us to start your search in this top New York neighborhood.
What Our Brokers Say About Chelsea Office Space for Lease
While this West Side neighborhood has a smaller tech presence than its Midtown South neighbor, the Flatiron District, the notable presence of big name tech companies Netflix and Twitter—along with corporate offices of IAC (designed by Frank Gehry at 555 W. 18th Street), YouTube, Roc Nation, Venmo, and Uber—make excellent company for those tech companies looking to make the move. Earlier this year, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., bought the Milk Building, a 325,000 square foot office and retail property. The Milk Building is connected to the Chelsea Market, which Google already owns.
Chelsea is also an ideal location for any business seeking to be at the heart of New York’s creative and entrepreneurial core. The established arts scene, along with SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology, attracts 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.
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.
Those working in Chelsea will be able to find lunch, coffee, and gym options all pretty much within a five minute’s walk. In addition to the variety of foods Chelsea Market has to offer, our team recommends the following restaurants: 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. Some of Yelp’s top-rated gyms in Chelsea include NYSC Lab, HACKD, and iLoveKickboxing – Chelsea NYC.
Chelsea Commercial Space For Lease | By the numbers
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Chelsea Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Demand for Chelsea office space is high, and vacancy rates for offices in this neighborhood are among the lowest in the city. Currently, the neighborhood offers just over 24.4 million square feet of total inventory, with approximately 650,000 square feet more under construction as of Q1 of 2019. About 6 percent of the total inventory is vacant and available to new renters.
Businesses seeking office space in Chelsea can expect to pay an average of just over $96 per square foot per year. This pricing is comparable with other popular neighborhoods such as Hudson Square and the Plaza District. Chelsea rental prices are considerably higher than the $81 per square foot New York City rental average.
To get around the high rental prices for office space in Chelsea, office space seekers can either search for space in Class B property, which is considerably lower in price per sq. ft. than Chelsea’s Class A offerings, or explore office sublease options. These lease agreements are signed directly with current tenants and tend to allow for less commitment than a traditional lease, where the norm is 3-5 years. However, utilizing an office sublease does not offer the same assurances as working with a landlord does, so it’s important to negotiate sublease terms with the help of a broker.
Most office buildings in Chelsea are Class A, but the neighborhood also has some Class B options. Rent Class A office space in Chelsea for just under $108.50 per square foot. Rent Class B office space in Chelsea for just over $60 per square foot — a much more affordable price for fledgling businesses looking to lease in this top neighborhood.
Need help finding the right office space in Chelsea? Contact one of our experienced brokers.
Getting Around: Transportation in Chelsea
Residents of all five boroughs and nearby suburbs can easily get to this West Side neighborhood, thanks to several nearby public transit hubs, including Penn Station. Chelsea is listed among the top 20 most walkable areas in NYC with a Walk Score of 99.
One of the best places to walk in Chelsea is the High Line, a linear park constructed on what used to be a train viaduct. Visitors can explore gardens, view street performances, study art, get a great view of Manhattan, and grab some food along the way. The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street near the Javits Center. Most of the rest of the viaduct had been demolished in 1960 and was effectively abandoned in the early 1980’s. Construction on the park began in 2006 and first opened to the public in 2009. An additional stretch near 10th Avenue and 30th Street opened in 2018. The High Line’s success has served as an inspiration to other cities looking for ways to transform obsolete infrastructure into public space and inspire accompanying real estate development.
Because of the influx of tourists, many locals warn against riding a bike along the piers. In spite of that exception, bikers will discover that it’s pretty easy to get around the rest of Chelsea, which also offers bike-sharing with CitiBike.
Chelsea is a highly accessible location, so commuters have no shortage of transportation options for getting to work. In addition to commuting through Penn Station, employees can take the A, C, and E trains on Eighth Avenue; 1, 2, and 3 trains along Seventh Avenue; or F and M trains on Sixth Avenue in Flatiron. Chelsea is also accessible by bus routes M7, M10, M11, M12, M14, and M23, and houses the main entrance to the 34th Street—Hudson Yards station for the 7 train. In addition to access via Amtrak and NJ Transit, commuters can easily access the PATH trains to Jersey City and Hoboken. This makes office space in Chelsea a great choice for businesses whose staff is largely based in New Jersey.
For those who need to fly nationally or internationally, the closest airport to Chelsea is LaGuardia Airport—only 10 miles away. Newark Airport and JFK are within 20 miles of the neighborhood as well.
Top Commercial Properties For Lease In Chelsea
Businesses looking to join Chelsea’s creative, thriving business community should not be deterred by the low vacancy rates. Office space in Chelsea is available! Popular office buildings in Chelsea include 210 11th Avenue, 531 West 25th Street, 545 West 25th Street, 370 7th Avenue, and The Tate at 535 West 24th Street. Begin by exploring these three SquareFoot-recommended office buildings in Chelsea:
153 West 27th Street: Constructed in 1913, this 12-story office building houses 28 total rentable units. Right now, five spaces ranging from 1,400 to 3,000 square feet in size are vacant and available to new renters. Contact us for pricing or for a tour of the property. This building presents a wonderful option for businesses searching for an office space near plenty of public transportation and lunch options. 153 West 27th Street has a Walk Score of 100 and is easily accessible via trains 1, 2, 3, B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, W, C, E, and the PATH train. Dine at restaurants such as The Red Cat, Salinas, or Bill’s Bar and Burger, or explore the first floor of Manhattan’s famous Chelsea Market for even more options.
104 West 27th Street: 104 West 27th Street is a Class B, high-rise office building with 72,000 square feet of rentable space spread throughout 12 stories and nine units. Three units ranging from 2,200 to 6,000 square feet are currently available to rent. Contact us for pricing or a tour of the property’s available spaces. Notable tenants at 104 West 27th Street include Radu Architects and Soho Publishing Company. 104 West 27th Street has an attended lobby, 24/7 access, and a Walk Score of 99. Get here using trains 1, 2, 3, B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, or W. Those who need to drive can find parking at Icon Parking or Central Parking, both of which are about .25 mile from the building.
238 West 30th Street: 238 West 30th Street is a 14-story office building located between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue, within quick walking distance of Penn Station, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Manhattan Mall. Constructed in 1926, this building has more than 64,000 square feet of rentable space. Two units are currently available; one is 2,500 square feet in size, and the other is 2,600 square feet in size. Contact us for pricing or a tour of available offices at this property. To get to 238 West 30th Street, use the Red, Orange, or Blue Lines at Penn Station. The 34th Street—Herald Square station is also closeby. Grab coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts barely .1 mile from the office, or stop by Brother Jimmy’s BBQ for lunch.
Need more information on these buildings, or a list of spaces in Chelsea that will best suit your company’s needs? Contact us today to get in touch with one of our brokers, who will help you start your search.
Chelsea Neighborhood History
Chelsea is one of the few Manhattan districts that has retained the name of the original estate. In 1750, Englishman Thomas Clark purchased land close to the water in New York and named it “Chelsea” after the Royal Hospital Chelsea in England. Originally, the property covered the area between 8th and 10th Avenues and between 19th and 24th Streets. For the first several decades, Chelsea did very well as a primarily residential area. Eventually, it grew into a hub for manufacturing companies.
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 into office spaces and apartments. The Chelsea Historic District was designated in 1971 and last expanded in 1982.
Chelsea’s 23rd Street area used to be NYC’s theater district. In 1884, Hotel Chelsea opened, and in 1868, Pike’s Opera House opened on this street. 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. In addition, Chelsea has become a unique shopping destination; shoppers here will find high-end boutiques such as Comme des Garcons, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Christian Louboutin. There are also a large number of restaurants to suit all tastes.
Re-imagine Your Office Space In Chelsea NYC
Chelsea has an abundance of inspiring office spaces that showcase endless possibilities for remodeling a workspace, with a variety of creative takes on conference rooms, private offices, workspaces, and more. 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, located between 15th and 16th streets, is filled with NYC-themed rooms and provides access to floors with ladders as well as elevators. The tech startup Outbrain is praised for its central conference room “The Fishbowl” in its New York HQ, while YouTube has permanent production sets available for its creators to use.