541 West 21st Street Building Repositioning

New York, NY

Mancini is working with Erbo Properties and Higher Ground Development to reposition 541 West 21st Street, now known as the Frame Building. Located in the burgeoning West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, the building was originally constructed in 1915 and previously served as a storage building and for display of arts from around the City.

We worked carefully to redesign the existing structure within its historical context. One of the major interventions Mancini designed as part of the complete building repositioning was the expansion of existing windows and the addition of new windows to maximize light and air. The results will be incredible and not often found on mid-block buildings in the area. Additional components of the building repositioning will include all new building systems, and activation of underutilized spaces to transform them into world-class tenant amenities.

A New Facade for 541 West 21st Street

Since the existing structure at 541 West 21st Street was designed for storage, the existing facade will require an overhaul to enlarge window openings and allow light and air to penetrate deep into the space. We similarly opened up the existing facade as part of our building repositioning of 125 West 25th Street, also in Chelsea. Mancini worked with the building owners and development partners to design a new facade with enlarged windows aimed at appealing to top tenants like tech and media companies.

The renovated facade will add a new character to the surrounding West Chelsea neighborhood while capturing the area’s existing drama. The window details with custom-designed frames will add to the building’s re-crafted identity to create a destination attractive to future tenants.

A New Streetfront Presence to Create the Frame Building

The existing building had little-to-no street presence. With a charge to add prominent street-level retail storefronts, Mancini completely redesigned the street presence at 541 West 21st Street by lowering the first floor to street level. We designed a new entry for the commercial office floors that also will open the facade with installation of a new glass wall. A new canopy will reflect the industrial history of the building and surrounding area.

A Building Repositioning to Attract Top-Tier Tenants

To create a new tenant experience to match the identity of The Frame Building, Mancini designed an interjection of a two-story building lobby. This new space will be the primary entry for commercial tenants while honoring the history of the building as a destination for the arts. The lobby will showcase pieces from local artists on a rotation to engage the community.

As part of Mancini’s work for the complete building repositioning of 541 West 21st Street, we will overhaul the building’s infrastructure for future tenants. These upgrades will include a new building core for code compliance and egress requirements, as well as a complete overhaul to existing building systems. New mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems service the building while maximizing the existing architecture of The Frame Building. These investments in the building will help the building owner command top rents in the area.

Creating World-Class Amenities by Activating Unused Spaces

To aid in attracting future tenants to the Frame Building, Mancini worked with both the building owner and development partner to design tenant amenities. One of the highlight spaces will include a newly activated roof terrace designed to transform the unused space into a gathering area for tenants and as a community event space. This building-wide amenity will help the building owner command top rent rates in the area.