Its funny how a neighborhood’s boundaries are so fungible. I was having a conversation with my co-worker the other day, who recollected lofts on 24th between 6th and 7th that he used to try to rent out. It was among the hardest things to get people over there, as, in the Early 2000’s, Chelsea was strictly defined between 14th and 23rd street. Anything above that was No-mans land. Even trying to get people to go one block would have them scoff. With the addition of the highrises of Chelsea, especially along sixth avenue, the borders have been re-defined, and now some people even stretch the boundaries up to 34th Street. And all the way to the River (before my time apparently past 7th or 8th was a no no). There are various factors which have caused a redefinition of the area; the new construction itself, and the shops, restaurants, bars, grocery stores and general traffic that they have brought. I suspect that rising rents (we can get into a debate if the rising rents drove demand or vice versa), and cleaning up of the area also had a lot to do with it as well. Most recently the extension of the Highline, and the anticipated (hint: delayed) spring opening of its second leg will also have a positive impact on the real estate prices “upper west chelsea,” though the increased traffic pay piss off some of the neighbors of the quieter Chelsea West-of-Eighth-Avenue.
What do I consider Chelsea? I think “Prime” is From 6 to 8th Ave, 14th street to 23rd Street. But I would probably consider 5th to the Hudson and 14th to 34th as being a part of the Neighborhood.