Nightlife inside Your Apartment

Ohm, the first large luxury apartment building in the growing West Chelsea submarket, could pass off as a nightclub on the nights that bands play in the swanky lobby.

Photo: Mike Ratliff

It’s 8 p.m. on a late June Friday in New York’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood. Electro-pop quartet Emily Warren & The Betters finish off their sound check and take the stage, cool and calm. The room—complete with four-story vaulted ceilings, sleek contemporary décor and sugar plum walls—almost passes for a night club. But the doorman at his desk behind the stage gives it away. This is not a swank downtown club; this is Ohm, the first large luxury apartment building in the growing West Chelsea submarket.

The 288-unit tower stands out like a beacon on 11th Avenue and 30th Street. The neighborhood was only rezoned for commercial and residential development in June of 2005. Douglaston Development is known for pioneering neighborhoods in the city, and they have certainly picked a prime spot; Ohm leased up in under 11 months. Like any good nightclub, there is currently a line to get in. The 25,000-square-foot amenity package certainly helped out. There is a roof terrace, indoor/outdoor lounge, club room with billiard table and fireplace, fitness center with water views, and a retro arcade complete with the classics. Let’s not forget about the lobby that doubles as a music venue.

Photo: Mike Ratliff

“One of the things that attracts people to this part of town is that it is the center of the city as far as great places to go at night, and music is a big part of that,” says Steven Charno, president, Douglaston. “So we tried to set Ohm up to tie in with that.”

Douglaston partnered with the Knitting Factory, a venerable concert house, to bring in artists twice a month to perform. Imported beer and local pizza circulates among the crowd of residents and guests. A thumping bass line signals the show is about to start.

Susan Myerberg has been to every performance since she moved into her Ohm penthouse when the building opened in February 2010. She works at Helen Hayes Theatre, which is currently putting on the show “Rock of Ages.” Myerberg moved to Ohm from Greenwich Village after her son graduated from college, looking to start the new act of her life in a cool and hip place. Although the neighborhood is still filling in, the recent completion of phase two of the High Line Park has put West Chelsea on the map. The one-and-a-half mile long park is built on the raised track of an old freight railroad spur. Myerberg walked the half-block to a temporary public plaza under the High Line (complete with beer garden and high-end food trucks) earlier that day to watch Jack White of the Whites Stripes perform a duet with Stephen Colbert. Neighborhood hipness factor aside, it was ultimately the building and the breathtaking views of the Hudson that led Myerberg to call Ohm home.

“When the leasing agent first opened the door, and I saw that water, I kissed him,” she says. “He told me that it was the first time that he had been kissed by a tenant.”

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