By Linette Semino
Since the High Line opened in 2009, many real estate buyers have focused their hunt on “West Chelsea,” which is bounded by West 14th Street to West 30th and Ninth Avenue to the Hudson River. In a city desperate for more open spaces, nature loving New Yorkers are thankful to have this beautiful urban garden in their community and proud that a structure slated to be torn down is now an exemplary park. The High Line is changing a once decrepit structure and old neighborhood into a brand-spanking new park and vibrant community. Since 1980, the elevated freight tracks of the High Line sat unused and were scheduled to be demolished. Luckily, in 1999, residents Joshua David and Robert Hammond formed Friends of the High Line to save the historic structure. The organization, with its celebrity-studded group of supporters, now raises funds to maintain and operate the park. According to the New York Times, 4.4 million people visited the High Line in 2012, and that number is expected to increase significantly this year. A wave of trendy hotels, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and nightlife venues have arrived in the wake of the High Line’s rebirth. Today, the High Line’s popularity has driven real estate prices sky high with new condos in West Chelsea commanding prices of $2,500 to $3,500 a square foot.