Court approves $19M Chelsea museum sale

November 23, 2010 11:40AM

Following an approval from bankruptcy court Friday, the $19.35 million sale of the eight-year-old Chelsea Art Museum to the Albanese Development Corp. will allow the museum to continue operating at Its West 22nd Street site, rent-free, until the end of 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported. After that date, the museum will need to find a new home. The agreement would also reduce the amount of debt owed by the building owner, a company controlled by the museum’s director and founder Dorothea Keeser. The lender, New York fund manager Hudson Realty Capital, has agreed to settle the debt for $13 million, down from its previous claims for about $14 million, according to court documents. Keeser told the Journal she would not open another museum in New York. Christopher Albanese, a principal for the purchaser, said he expects to close on the property in approximately two weeks and that his firm plans to lease the building to one or several art galleries once the museum vacates. The fate of the museum’s permanent collection — which features work by abstract artists worth about $2.5 million — remains unclear, Keeser said. [Wall Street Journal]