Related, Essence to Demolish and Fully Rebuild Chelsea NYCHA Building


Two New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) communities in Chelsea, the Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea Houses, will be demolished and fully replaced by a new building, according to the city.

The project plan will keep the 2,005 apartments in both buildings and add 3,500 new mixed-income units to the campus once Essence Development and Related Companies, with NYCHA oversight, complete the redevelopment of the aging properties.

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While demolishing NYCHA buildings and replacing them is relatively rare in the city, over half of respondents to the Chelsea NYCHA Working Group who live in the properties voted in favor of the plan in 2019.

When completed in six years, the Bill de Blasio-era project will give residents dishwashers, washers and dryers in each unit as well as heating and cooling controlled from within apartments plus a rooftop space, according to NYCHA.

“No one knows better than the residents what they and their neighbors need, and they were smart to recognize the potential benefits of completely rebuilding their campus,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “This is how our administration has been conducting business since taking office, and this is how we will continue to do so: with NYCHA residents making decisions about their own communities.”

The city did not immediately disclose the total cost of the project or where the funding would come from, but the New York Times reported the price tag as $1.5 billion.

It will be the third complete teardown of a NYCHA property since the agency started in 1934, but the agency plans to look at doing more around the city, partnering with private developers for the work, according to the Times.

“We’re grateful to the residents of Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses for their faith in selecting us to be a part of the team that will execute their vision,” Related Companies President Bruce Beal said in a statement. “We recognize that this work is vitally important to securing and improving not just apartments, but the lives of thousands of NYCHA residents. Our company’s mission is to create and preserve high-quality housing for all — and for more than two decades we’ve been committed to advancing this goal for everyone in West Chelsea.”

Redevelopments of these buildings have been contemplated for decades. The developers — who were selected to lead the project in 2021 — were able to get more apartments built into the deal after the New York City Council approved a rezoning for the neighborhood in 2005 allowing for taller buildings.

Mark Hallum can be reached at