The Wall Street Journal combines two nice trend pieces in one. Recognizing the large number of trend-setting galleries that have opened on the Upper East Side in recent years—Joseph Nahmad, Adam Lindemann, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, Bill Powers, Jack Tilton, Robert Blumenthal and more—Jane Furse also points out that the process of residential creep is now taking over Chelsea as it once did SoHo:
“The Lower East Side is not next to the Met,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “The most serious collectors are on the Upper East Side.”
Some Chelsea-based galleries are feeling restless as well. Zach Feuer has been based for 15 years at 548 West 22nd St. but said he is ready for a change of scene.
“Frankly, it’s become kind of boring,” he said. “I walk down the street, and it feels like a row of spectacles.”
Longtime art dealer Stefan Stux said that Chelsea has fallen victim to its own success, a rise in property values, rental prices and what he calls “the Trojan Horse” of real estate: the High Line.
“When it was a rusty rail line it didn’t matter at all,” he said, “but with the grand success of the High Line, I realized it was going to be great for residential real estate—but the rents were going to the stratosphere.”
Mr. Stux doesn’t think that there will be an exodus from Chelsea, however, particularly as the larger galleries change from tenants to landlords.
“Pace, Gagosian, David Zwirner —they can compete,” he said. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys decide ‘to hell with it, I’ll take $100 million for the building.’ How long can these guys hold out?”