Local Residents Fear Food Vendors Will Lose Out in Chelsea Market Expansion

Shortly after the City Council approved developer Jamestown Property‘s 300,000-square-foot expansion of the gourmet destination Chelsea Market last September, council speaker Christine Quinn ensured that 75 percent of the current ground floor retail space would stay devoted to food vendors.

440px chesea market from south1 Local Residents Fear Food Vendors Will Lose Out in Chelsea Market Expansion

Chelsea Market

Locals are wary. The council’s Land Use Committee almost simultaneously signed a legal agreement with vaguer specifications, DNAInfo reports today. That document protected just 60 percent of ground floor space as retail-oriented, with no reference to the allotment for food shops. In a letter to Ms. Quinn’s office, members of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, Save Chelsea and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation wrote:

“If Jamestown or a successor decided to close down 40 percent of the concourse to retail use and fill the remaining 60 percent with chain clothing stores or other non-food related retail uses, there would be no recourse to prevent them from doing so, and no rescission of the lucrative upzoning granted to them.”

City council speaker spokesman Justin Goodman says that the agreement between Ms. Quinn and Jamestown set aside 75 percent of the space for food, a number the developer plans to uphold.
Earlier this month, Jamestown Chief Operating Officer Michael Phillips said that eight new food vendor kiosks were being placed into a renovated 5,700-square feet at the property.

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