In recent years, falling foot traffic coupled with a rise in online sales have prompted art dealers to question the once-trusted gallery storefront model, which is increasingly seen as not only archaic but also financially unnecessary—if not completely untenable as urban rents soar. Yet that is not the case in Chelsea, New York’s commercial art hub for the past 25 years and one of the priciest neighbourhoods per square foot in the entire US.

This fall, several area dealers are launching new and improved shopfronts, some of which represent their second—if not third or fourth—space within a half-mile radius. The frenzy of growth represents a small renaissance on the heels of several years of high-profile gallery closures in the area, spurred in part by the exhaustive commercial and real estate development on the city’s West Side. Read more