Historic Dia Building In Chelsea Can Be Yours For $68 Million

A buyer could use the space as a gallery or to store a private collection or could redevelop the property.

The exterior of 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea, New York. Photo by Tim Waltman of Evan Joseph Studio. Image courtesy Serhant.

The historic four-story West Chelsea building long occupied by the Dia Art Foundation is on the market, asking a cool $68 million.

The price falls somewhere in between the most expensive Gerhard Richter ever sold at auction ($46 million) and the most expensive Mark Rothko ever sold at auction ($87 million).

The original Dia building “represents such a unique opportunity to an affluent individual or user especially because the zoning of the building is so versatile,” said Ariel Sassoon, a real estate broker who, along with Bernadette Brennan, is handling the listing for Serhant.

The property is at 548 West 22nd Street, at 11th Avenue.

Visitors to the historic space in recent years may be more familiar with its use for pop-up events such as art fairs including Independent New York and Volta. It also served as the temporary pre-pandemic home of Hauser & Wirth while the mega-gallery was creating its permanent digs next door on West 22nd. Meanwhile the Dia center upgraded to new digs on the other side of 22nd street that has even more sprawling, and equally stunning art display spaces.

A rendering of an art gallery at 548 West 22nd Street, formerly the home of the Dia Art Center. <br> Image courtesy Serhant.

A rendering of an art gallery at 548 West 22nd Street, formerly the home of the Dia Art Center.
Image courtesy Serhant.

The building’s zoning will allow many uses, including as a gallery, retail space, or a conversion to residential, Sassoon told Artnet. It also comes with about 30,000 square feet of air rights.

The possibilities are myriad. For example, the space would work for “an affluent user who has a very expensive art collection or rare car collection but also wants to make the space their place of work,” Sassoon said. “Or even a celebrity who wants to curate their entire brand experience, like, say, a Kylie Jenner…they could have the store at the bottom that sells all [their] products and use other levels for display or office.” 

Interior view of the building at 548 West 22nd Street, formerly the home of the Dia Art Center. <br>Photo by Tim Waltman of Evan Joseph Studio. Image courtesy Serhant.

Interior view of the building at 548 West 22nd Street, formerly the home of the Dia Art Center.
Photo by Tim Waltman of Evan Joseph Studio. Image courtesy Serhant.

Dia’s roots in West Chelsea date back decades, well before the neighborhood became an art-world power center—when it was a gritty, somewhat empty industrial area littered with yellow taxi-cab garages. From 1987 through 2004, the art center presented major and ambitious long-term art installations including projects by Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, Pierre Huyghe, Robert Irwin, On Kawara, Jorge Pardo, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Jessica Stockholder, Diana Thater, Lawrence Weiner, and Robert Whitman.

Dia sold the building, which at the time needed extensive repairs, for $38.55 million in December 2007. The current seller is Atlas Capital Group.

The rooftop at 548 West 22nd has Hudson River views and looks out over the Chelsea gallery district and High Line park.Interior view of the building at 548 West 22nd Street, formerly the home of the Dia Art Center. <br>Photo by Tim Waltman of Evan Joseph Studio. Image courtesy Serhant.

The rooftop at 548 West 22nd has Hudson River views and looks out over the Chelsea gallery district and High Line park.Interior view of the building at 548 West 22nd Street, formerly the home of the Dia Art Center.
Photo by Tim Waltman of Evan Joseph Studio. Image courtesy Serhant.

Dia was founded in New York City in 1974 by Philippa de Menil, Heiner Friedrich, and Helen Winkler with the stated mission of helping artists achieve visionary projects that might not otherwise be realized because of scale or scope. “Dia,” was taken from the Greek word meaning “through.”

Dia now has nine permanent sites across the U.S. and Germany, as well as three exhibition spaces in New York: Dia Chelsea in Manhattan (across the street from the original space, which re-opened in 2020 after extensive renovations), Dia Beacon in the Hudson Valley, and Dia Bridgehampton on Long Island.

 

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