Could This Modern Residential Tower Replace the Historic Barney’s Building at 115 Seventh Avenue?

January 26, 2016

Bargain hunters were distraught when Loehmann’s shuttered their NYC locations two years ago. It perhaps hit hardest at their Chelsea location, at the northeast corner of 16th Street and Seventh Avenue. Later that year it was announced that upscale retailer Barney’s would be opening a five-level store in the space, which also happens to be the site where they were founded in 1923, and remained until 2007. Next door, at the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 16th Street, also once part of Barney’s downtown flagship, 6sqft has uncovered a rendering showing a modern residential tower with a retail base that may replace the historic Romanesque-style building.

115 Seventh Avenue - Rubin - Chelsea
The current building

In August of 2014, Ashkenazy Acquisitions went into contract to purchase 115 Seventh Avenue from the neighboring Rubin Museum of Art for $57 million. Back then, when the site was up for grabs, sources said that the corner property was most valuable as a development site where a buyer would demolish the existing structure and build an up to 70,000-square-foot mixed-use building. Since Ashkenazy’s purchase, plans for the site have not been made public nor have construction/demolition permits been filed. However, this recently posted rendering suggests that the owners may be considering the redevelopment option to take advantage of the area’s hot residential market and its likely burgeoning retail scene upon Barney’s arrival.

Rendering of spiral staircase for Barneys’ Chelsea flagship by Steven Harris Architects
Rendering of spiral staircase for Barneys’ downtown flagship by Steven Harris Architects

The existing 45,000-square-foot structure held part of the original Barney’s New York department store from 1923 until 1997. The Romanesque-style building, along with an adjacent building at 138-154 West 17th Street, was picked up by the Rubin Museum for $20 million, with the hopes of an expansion that never materialized. By mid-February, Barney’s will open a 55,000-square-foot flagship store adjacent to Ashkenazy’s site, inside the former address of Loehmann’s at 161 West 16th Street. The store will be designed by Steven Harris Architects and include five floors of retail space, a grand spiral staircase and a third-floor restaurant.

115 Seventh Avenue - Rubin - Chelsea
Image courtesy of CityRealty

The upscale store’s arrival will likely increase the number of shoppers and foot traffic in the area, as well as drive up ground-level rents. To reap the rewards from having a popular high-end neighbor next door, the proposal rendered at Ashkenazy’s site shows two glassy levels of retail. Additionally, a handful of residential developments have opened nearby including the Greenwich Lane, just four blocks south, and the Walker Tower.

Stay tuned for updates at 115 Seventh Avenue on CityRealty.


Rendering courtesy of Digital Frontier

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