Chelsea Market deal forgets food vendors

January 25, 2013 09:30AM

With the expansion of the Chelsea Market approved, some worry that the historic building’s food concourse will shrink or be removed, DNAinfo reported. Despite claims by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn that  it would be protected, Jamestown Properties — the building’s landlord — has no legal obligation to keep the concourse following the expansion. 

Quinn had told advocates of the concourse that the area would remain protected and predominantly food-related and not run over by chains, in an October 25 statement.

“In the original plan, there were no restrictions on what the developer could do to the unique and cherished ground floor retail space dominated by food vendors,” Quinn said in the statement. “The Council’s action permanently protects 75 percent of the current total interior ground floor concourse retail space for food-related uses.”

However the legally binding agreement signed the same day Quinn made the above statement preserves less than two-thirds of the ground floor for retail and features no specific language about food at all.

The controversial Chelsea Market expansion will add roughly 300,000 square feet with two office towers to the landmarked building, which occupies a full block at 95 Ninth Avenue. [DNAinfo] —Christopher Cameron