COOKFOX will convert Chelsea’s historic Terminal Warehouse into a vibrant office complex

Posted On Tue, September 17, 2019 By

Posted On Tue, September 17, 2019 By In Architecture, Chelsea, New Developments

Rendering courtesy of COOKFOX

The entire city block bound by 11th and 12th Avenues and 27th to 28th Streets in West Chelsea is occupied by the Terminal Warehouse complex, a former freight distribution hub built in 1891. After losing its place in the shipping industry in the 1930s, it then became infamous in the 1980s and ’90s as the home of The Tunnel nightclub. Now, after years as a mini-storage facility and commercial offices, the structure will once again see new life, this time as a wholistic, modern office complex. L&L Holding and Normandy Real Estate Partners have partnered with COOKFOX architects to adaptively reuse the building, preserving and restoring its historic elements, as well as to add shops and restaurants on street level, a central courtyard, and a contemporary glass addition.

The Terminal Warehouse was constructed in the late 19th century, a time when the train tracks along 11th Avenue led “to the freight yards of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad,” according to Daytonian in Manhattan. Because of its proximity to the Hudson River, the trains, and the roads, the site was appealing to industrialist William W. Rossiter, who commissioned architect George Mallory to design the seven-story brick, Round Arch-style building. It was actually constructed as a unified series of 25 different buildings, all coming together in 24 acres of space. The huge arches along 11th and 12th Avenues were designed to allow trains in. They ran along a pair of train tracks through the center of the building that connected to the docks at the Hudson River.

All of these architectural elements exist today and will be preserved. According to a press release from L & L Holding, the total project will involve “the preservation, restoration and/or replacement of  3.2 acres of brick masonry, 1.4 million (board) feet of wood, 756 windows, 338 pairs of iron shutters, metal signage, chimney, flagpole, and other historic details.” The aforementioned train tunnel, still complete with its exposed rails, will also be restored and will be flanked by shops, restaurants, and other public spaces. The center of the building will receive an outdoor courtyard and landscaped terraces.

In addition, the remaining 500,000 square feet of storage space will be converted into modern, state-of-the-art office spaces. The floor area that’s being removed for the courtyard and some double-height interior spaces will be transferred to a new addition on the western portion of the building, which “will minimize the visual impact of the redevelopment from within the West Chelsea historic district and remain within the building’s current, as-of-right zoning envelope,” according to the press release.

Current retail tenants include Porchlight restaurant, Manhattan Wine, Between the Bread, Avocadoria, and Agavi Juice. Uber, L’Oréal, and architectural firm Grimshaw are among the commercial tenants.

This is not COOKFOX’s first time redeveloping a historic warehouse into commercial space; they are also working on the conversion of Hudson Square’s St. John’s Terminal into offices for Google.

All renderings courtesy of COOKFOX

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Neighborhoods : Chelsea

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