rental guides

Chelsea, NYC Exclusive Rental Buildings

For new rental apartment seekers in NYC, Chelsea, a highly popular and trendy area of the west side of Manhattan, has become one of the most desirable places for new arrivals to NYC to live. Bordered on the south by 14th street, and the north by 34th street, Chelsea extends as far west as the Hudson River and is bordered on the east by 6th Avenue. The neighborhood is populated primarily with young upwardly mobile professionals and families with toddlers. The area is vibrant with hip restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and hotspots. On Thursdays through Saturday, the nightlife in Chelsea is teeming with hipsters, young media professionals and fashionistas. It certainly is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in NYC.

The far west side portion of Chelsea from 10th avenue to the river houses New York's most popular contemporary-art district. This section of the neighborhood, which covers the area from 22nd street to 25th street, was originally an edgy, seedy, semi-industrial zone before intrepid gallerists settled it in the mid to late 1990s. The popularity of this art zone captured the draw of more commercialized galleries and installations and is now a fully gentrified upscale area home to mainstream art spaces like the Gagosian Gallery, Haunch of Venison and Gladstone Gallery.

In 2009, the completion of a civic project known as The Highline became literally the backbone of a deluge of development in the surrounding area.

The Highline was the brainchild of a few civic-minded artists and local architects who wanted to transform an abandoned elevated railroad track from the early 1900s deemed for demolition into an elevated park – that would hover over the neighborhood and offer visitors an extended panoramic view of the west portion of Chelsea. Starting in an area known as the Meatpacking District, the completed Highline Park extends all the way to 30th street along 11th avenue. Replete with trees, shrubbery, flora and fauna, as well as the occasional seating area and grassy knoll (and food vendor) the Highline became the finishing touch needed to drive investment of hoteliers and residential developers to construct some of the most interesting and modern architecture in the city. This along with a flurry of restaurants, boutiques and retailers, attracts more tourists to the neighborhood than Soho.

For rental apartment seekers, Chelsea has become the hot living destination – and as such, apartments in this area have become highly inflated as increased demand and limited supply put Chelsea landlords in the catbird seat. Finding a good deal and most importantly a good unit in this area is highly competitive – so having the help of an experienced broker is key.

If you are looking to score a deal in Chelsea, you probably need to look at older, walk-up buildings that are much harder to penetrate as there are no concierges or doormen on staff, and identifying the landlord is next to impossible. These kind of smaller, intimate buildings make up the character and charm of the neighborhood and are also hidden gems that contain great living spaces at better monthly rates. Finding a good deal and most importantly a good unit of this type in this area is highly competitive – so having the help of an experienced broker is key.

If you don’t want to pay broker’s fee or are looking for low fee apartments, you need to look for Brokers who have exclusive rental deals with specific landlords who own and operate buildings in the neighborhood.

This kind of partnership offers a number of benefits. One main benefit of Exclusive arrangements is that renters can get to the front of the line to acquire these apartments, and the possibility of a lower fee, and any advantage in a high-demand neighborhood like Chelsea or even the West Village and Lower East Side is a good thing. Also, exclusive Buildings tend to be of higher and more reliable quality. This is important, as rogue sales agents can give you the runaround and promise a beautiful one bedroom with a view and end up showing you a rundown studio with a view of a brick wall.

And lastly, with Exclusive buildings, the rental process itself is greatly simplified and less complicated due to the direct-to-landlord relationship. This may not seem like a big deal, but any newcomer to the NYC Apartment Rental experience will be shocked at the mind-numbing bureaucracy of the rental process.

Most important, the majority of Exclusive properties tend to be less expensive than mass-market apartments. So rents are lower and there is greater value. Some great Chelsea buildings that are currently under an exclusive broker arrangement include 132 West 15th Street, 134 West 15th Street, 152 Eighth Avenue, 226 West 16th Street, 229 West 20th Street, 262 West 24th Street.