By Carter B. Horsley
With 354 condominium apartments, The Chelsea
Mercantile is one of the largest residential conversions of a
commercial property in Chelsea.
The conversion of the handsome 1906 building
was designed by the firm of Avinash K. Malhotra and Gruzen Samton,
one of the city's leading architectural firms, for Rockrose Development,
one of the city's leading residential builders and converts. It
included the creation of a new, large rotunda lobby and the landscaping
of a broad alley between different sections of the property.
Many of the apartments have exposed brick walls
with 9-foot ceilings, beamed ceilings and walk-in closets and
some of the penthouses have ceilings of 11 to 13 feet, fireplaces,
skylights and terraces.
The apartments have state-of-the-art wiring
and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen with built-in garbage
disposals. The master bathrooms have limestone walls and floors
and most apartments have washer and dryer hook-ups. The building
has a sundeck and its retail space is occupied by the a Whole
A couple of blocks south of the Fashion Institute
of Technology to the north and not far from the famous Chelsea
Hotel on 23rd Street, this building is in the heart of Chelsea,
a district that exploded in popularity at the end of the 1990s
as many art galleries moved into the area from SoHo and other
downtown locations and as the Chelsea Piers recreation project
opened on the Hudson River.
As the new millennium began, several new projects
were initiated to transform the nearby stretch of the former flower
market in the mid-20's along the Avenue of the Americas with new
luxury apartment buildings that have further reinforced the neighborhood's
There is very good public transportation in
the area and it is very convenient to the very trendy Flatiron
District to the east and Greenwich Village to the south.
The main "drag" of Chelsea is also
nearby on Eighth Avenue where the wonderful Joyce Theater at 19th
Street offers excellent dance performances and there are many
restaurants in the vicinity.