From Rinses to Retail, Chelsea Car Wash Makes its Exit

[The Chelsea Car Wash at West 14th Street & 10th Avenue, before the sign was taken down.]

As many Chelsea dwellers, West Side Highway & Hudson River Park commuters, taxi drivers, and car wash enthusiasts may have noticed, the distinctive red Chelsea Car Wash sign has disappeared. It was removed from where it was attached to the High Line about a month ago with little fanfare.

In the coming months, the Car Wash– one of the characteristic staples of the working West Side–will close its garage doors to make way for a new retail location on the corner of West 14th Street and 10th Avenue.

[Design and renderings by Richard Lanka & Associates, for a new retail location, developed by the Milk Group with Robert K. Futterman.]

There’s currently no tenant booked, but in the next year or so, the Milk Group (as in Milk Studios, next door), aims to find a design, fashion, or other retail tenant for this 40,000-square-foot space directly underneath the High Line. Renderings from their sales office show wrap-around windows in Car Wash-like glass. There’s also apparently a subterranean level for more retail.

More design renderings, and facts about the neighborhood– from the sales brochure–after the jump.

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Florent: “Don’t Cry for Me”

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An update on the imminent closing of beloved Meatpacking District institution Florent, which will soon lose its lease after 22 years on Gansevoort Street: According to the Villager‘s resident news-cat Scoopy, restauranteur Florent Morellet is not looking for another space, but is excited to pursue other projects, including writing his memoir and devoting more time to his art: drawing maps of imaginary cities.

Florent is planning a five-week going-away bash, from Memorial Day to Gay Pride on June 29. In a final display of irreverence, he’s theming each week around one of the five stages of grieving: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

He told us he’s gotten an outpouring of sympathy from restaurant fans for closing. “Don’t cry for me,” he says, pointing out that the end of his restaurant chapter is just the beginning of another great adventure.

We wish him luck on what’s sure to be a brilliant career in memoir-writing, mapmaking, rabble-rousing, landmarking, theatrics, editorializing, farce, pyrotechnics, airport entertainment, Bastille-storming, and championing of great causes small and large.

Florent Moves [Scoopy's Notebook]

Florent Goes to Court! [High Line Blog]

Florent Watch: Restaurant Officially Being Shopped for $700K/Yr [Eater]

Banchet, a Unique Event Space Near the High Line

We often get requests from people looking to host events on the High Line. Unfortunately, since it’s still an active construction site, we can’t let people have events up there yet. Many people don’t realize that there are lots of great event spaces in the Meatpacking District. Banchet, just steps away from the southern end of the High Line, is one of my favorites.

Located here, on the corner of Washington and Gansevoort, Banchet is a 1,8000-square-foot floral shop that can be used for weddings, private parties, or photo shoots. The best part about this space is that is comes fully decorated with seasonal flowers. They are available for sit-down dinners up to 120 or cocktail parties for 145.

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 More photos after the jump. Continue reading

High Line Goes to Rehab? Paparazzi Swarm

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Was Rusty B finally checking herself in, her reps claiming “exhaustion” and “dehydration?”  So it would have seemed on Monday afternoon as paparazzi swarmed beneath the windows of Friends of the High Line.  In fact the paps were there for Isla Fisher, shooting “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” outside Scoop and across the street from Diane von Furstenberg

Retail: Ports 1961 Coming to the Neighborhood

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[Photo from Racked] 

Canadian boutique retailer Ports 1961 is opening their US flagship store in the Meatpacking District (here.) If Racked is correct, Ports’ February opening may be delayed. There is a lot more high-end retail on its way to the neighborhood. From  The New York Post :

 The final piece of the retail puzzle has been filled at Taconic Investment Partners’ 401 W. 14th St. in the Meatpacking District.  Italian fashion designer Moschino has signed a lease for its first freestanding Manhattan boutique there, with 2,700 square feet tucked between the new, tri-level Apple store at the Ninth Avenue corner and Hugo Boss’s store to the west…The store will open this spring.

We went to the Ports 1961 runway show– after the jump.

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